I must learn to swim.
When the time comes
To run away in a boat,
Doesn’t that increase my chances of survival?
How many minutes can I hold my breath under water?
Through long nights of sieges
And revolutions and night terrors,
I have held my breath.
Watching all I’ve lived being torn apart, I’ve held my breath.
Over broken homes and missing friends, I’ve held my breath.
I’ve held my breath so long, maybe I won’t sink.
But, no one is going to throw life jackets to save me.
Refugee boats are not yachts of luxury.
No airhostess or sea captains to give you safety instructions,
No oxygen masks for the fleeing.
Only sharks, in the sea and on the boat
And in the land you are both running from and running to,
Who will look away
And deflate your raft at…
That is still
I must learn to swim
Or maybe prepare to drown.