|“On the Way,” by Lorenzo Mattotti.|
She folds a light blanket, knowing
her child likes softness by her cheek,
stuffs it into plastic, leaving
the half bombed-out apartment,
the long dreaded task.
Father carries two-year-old Amira
and the bag of belongings.
Mother carries a bag of dry clothes,
walking beside their son, Mahdi, five.
After eleven miles
shoes feel tight, blisters swell.
Garbage bag ponchos keep out
only part of the rain.
Under a plastic sheet at night
baby touches the soft blanket.
Her eyes flutter shut as mother
hums. Just 80 km to go.
What to find ahead?
How to be received?
The hell they left forces them on.
They only need water, bread
soap and socks. Train doors
slam shut before them;
now to walk to the next point
where it’s colder. Amira
is swaddled in the damp blanket.
Marilyn Peretti still lives near Chicago, and still loves it that concise words of poetry can express the egregious events in nations' interactions. She has been published in various journals, Pushcart nominated, and published several poetry books at blurb.com/bookstore.