“Success is survival”
The journalist tripped the refugee,
carrying a child,
the cameras scurried.
We watched and pondered,
divested from the moral impact of what we see,
our hands in our pockets
scrutinized their clothes, ripped on barbed wire,
wondered why they have cell phones.
People shouted: “Not welcome”,
the ones on the balcony threw sharp objects,
their kingdom for a shining star.
Our planet, a poorly moonlit shipwreck,
we have nothing and yet we erect barriers,
draw salt marks, stomp the ground in anger,
feel our footing more solid than their fleeting lives,
crumpled in a plastic bag.
We planted thorn bush in their terrains vagues,
colored gray spaces,
banged drums in complicit silences.
If we make inventory of our specie’s failure,
take stock of our miseries, miser-eyes,
we will find out that we have nothing but each other.
We dropped this burden of truth
in the rotten gutter,
closed the shutters and went to sleep,
leaning on our gray walls,
clutching our blind spotted history,
telling tales of light in the age of darkness.
And when the morning comes,
we paraded our goods, streaks of sunrays,
to sell them at open markets of our indifference,
we forgot that they too come from the sun.
Donia Mounsef was born and lived in Beirut, Lebanon until the age of 19. She is a Canadian-Lebanese bilingual poet, playwright and dramaturge. She splits her time on either side of the Canadian Rockies, between Vancouver and Edmonton where she teaches theatre and poetry at the University of Alberta. She is the author of a poetry collection: 'Plimsoll Lines' (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2018), and a chapbook: 'Slant of Arils,' published by Damaged Goods Press (2015), reviewed in Fruita Pulp, Her writing has been published and anthologized in print and online in The Habitat Magazine, Toronto Quarterly, Labor of Love, Bluestem, Yes Poetry, Gutter Eloquence, Poetry Quarterly, Lavender Review, Linden Avenue, Bookends Review, Gravel Magazine, Skin 2 Skin, Iris Brown, Reverie’s Rage Anthology, 40 Below Anthology, etc. Her performance poetry and plays have been performed on stages in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and New Haven.