A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Once there was a room, a house.
Once there was a family, all threaded lives,
there were books and learning,
photographs, happy memories.
Once there was a path, a future.
Once there was haven, sanctuary.
Once they lay on their backs in the grass
and looked at moonlit scudding clouds.
Once they tumbled in play.
Once the joy of wind upon their cheeks,
the fresh scents of spring.
Once there was food and plenty.
Once there were picnics and games together.
Once there was the beach, the sand,
the open blue of the waves.
Once there were dreams filled with promise
and no nightmares of loss.
Once there were clean sheets, warm clothes.
Once there was the hubbub of voices.
Once there was laughter.
Once there was nationality, belonging.
Once upon a time, before it all fell apart,
before the terror and the fighting,
before the bombs and desolation,
before the screams, the blood, the deaths,
before the dispossession,
before the grief, the long trudge, the flight,
before statelessness, before everything
tasted of ash, before the endless trauma.
It was all a fairy tale, once.
Copyright 2018 David Ades