A #Refugee Poem – How do You Read It?

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Refugees – A Syrian Man and Son in Athens, Greece / Photo Courtesy of Mikaele Sansone, CRS

Recently a good friend of mine who knows about my work with #CatholicReliefServices and #Refugees gave me a poem written by Brian Bilston.  As I read it, I was shocked at first and then as I continued it was clear to me that the poem expresses the very sad dichotomy that exists in our society regarding the plight of those fleeing war and persecution and any moral obligation that we have to assist them. 

I think it correctly expresses the sentiment of those who look (and read) down without compassion and fail to see or care about these families escaping war and potential death.  Then the poem expresses the sentiment of those who look (and read) up, with their eyes open, with compassion and mercy, just like the Good Samaritan who came to the aid of a stranger.  Perhaps as Lent begins, we should try to look (and read) upward and #ShareTheJourney with these refugees who are simply fellow human beings.

REFUGEES
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(now read from bottom to top)

—   Brian Bilston

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