Pope Francis challenges us to “look into the face of the asylum seeker and really hear
their story so that they are no longer a stranger to be feared and we can no longer be
indifferent to their need.” (6 September, 2015)
Let us pause to hear the story of the cry of the poor in the words of the Kenyan-born
Somali-British poet Warsan Shire:
No one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.
You only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well.
You only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
You have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.
No one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
No one crawls under fences,
no one wants to be beaten, pitied.
No one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
because prison is safer
than a city of fire.
I want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark.
Home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore.