The Dream Tree: a poem

The sky is dark with fear
with the moon a yellow parachute
making shadows long.

Salena is with her two children in the bathroom
before bedtime. Badriya and Amin wash their face,
then the car bomb goes off.

Salena runs, squeezing their hands.
Her shoes stick in the mud
then she abandons them.

Reaching a border post, they are refused entry
since they lack paperwork.
Salena gives the guard an unspoken favour.

She tells Badriya and Amin about the dream tree.
It sways its branches when you sing to it
and it makes your dreams come true.

The moon shines over the campsite,
a forest of yellow plastic sheets.
They stand with a sheet between
touching the outline of their faces.

(Published in The Blue Nib, issue 38, June 2019)

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