Alessio Zanelli

A Migrants Lay poem
Golfo di Macari from the summit of Monte Monaco, Sicily, Italy

A Migrant’s Lay

They’d said at least I would have had a chance.
It took me endless days, a slave again,
and sleepless nights, with past and future ghosts,
to save the cash and find the guts for it.
I’ll always bless the time at last I quit.

No desert, thug or sickness could have me,
as long as my beloved child walked by,
until this long-awaited water did.
Already gone, I only let it win
when trawlers neared my girl and pulled her in.

First published in Orbis (UK)