Report on the State of the World’s Children
They took me to sea in a faulty raft.
I couldn’t swim but, dead, I could float.
I came from the wrong tribe.
They took me at night over mountains
and let go of my hand. I was born
at the wrong time. They took me to a place
of tents and snow. The heat was fire
and they rationed the flames.
Winter entered to sleep with us,
also men harsher than winter.
I was brave. Only my dreams cried out.
I came from the wrong village.
They took me to a camp with tall fences
cholera could vault.
I crossed from a wrong country.
Alone, I wandered a desert.
I slept under a cactus for weeks,
until crows found me.
They took me to jail. I watched a green fly
who was allowed to come and go.
They pronounced my wrong name.
I prayed the wrong way.
They took my house and gave me rubble,
then told me to go home.
I sat day after day and made walls
from all that I had—my two arms
became mother and father, holding
each other and hugging my knees.