Dignity of a Refugee

Sokunthea Oum

Shelled bombed and displaced 

In the face of deaths and destruction

Despair and destitute reign

No home, no food, no water no protection

No relief in sight, in place, an annihilation

Starvation torture murder and execution

Revealing the shame

In the geopolitical diplomacy game

Individuality lost, a person no longer with name

Swallow the pride to survive the moment 

Stay alive to protect the children for what to come

Resorting to beg, barrow and thievery 

Barter valuables for food and safe direction

Smuggled and ferried

Gold and diamond the currency

All engrained is when to hide and flee

Unknown when to be fear free and carefree

Praying to the divine for empathy

Bowing to handouts and sympathy

Hopeless in own country

Wading across a river of piranhas 

Climbing mountainous jungle riddled with poisonous booby traps in the dark

Crossing landmines riddled under the leaves 

Ducking whizzing grenades and artilleries

Always carry a white cloth to flag readying to surrender

Quench dehydration with muddy water

Bodily search by pirates and border thieves

Arrive in the new land bearing nothing but the tattered clothes

Dropped into cultural ice bath unbeknownst what's to unfold 

A traumatized soul.