by Frances Timberlake, Refugee Women’s Centre

The name lands on the pavement

slapped down

like spilt water

A person

a body

a name

tumbling from this young boy’s mouth


spilt water

Like a


from the Black Sea waters the man drowned in four months ago

as the young boy sat watching with the other passengers aboard.

A splash

hitting the pavement now

hitting my throat

from his throat

as the boy tells me

about their sea journey

and the moments that were this name’s last.

Expecting justice.

Hoping for memory.

Who told the mother?

‘He was a good man’ the young boy says,

conscious that the name is all that remains

of a life,

all that remains now

on this dirty street in France.

A person

a body

a name

His name

left lying now in the rain.

It slips from my grasp and still now lies, sodden

on the street in France.

No gravestone

to mark

the name.


You can read more of our creative pieces by visiting our Creative Archive, as well as our Translations of Displacement series.

Featured Image: Looking upwards one evening in Baddawi Camp, North Lebanon (c) E. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. Jan 2017.

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