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Refugee

She doesn’t have
her great-grandmother’s childhood book
of stories and verse

her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet
her grandfather’s favorite glazed blue bowl

or even her mother’s hand-knit afghan
collection of imperial stamps and coins
rocks from the Garden of the Gods.

Her father collaborated with the enemy
fled with her mother and older brother
he was a baby
the battle was behind them
to either side in the middle distance
it sparked and spat.
The baby, her older brother (let there be
no confusion) died in the swamp.
Another child came, a sister
born in a refugee camp.

She blames herself for all of this
she knows it’s not her fault
she knows there’s nothing
she could have done, it was all
before her.  She sits in her house,
it is quiet now,
just another day to journey
from sleep to sleep.

Published inOniontownPoemsWords

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