Monday, October 30, 2006

My beautiful girls

This is a short poem I wrote today about the girls in my house:

Food is waiting for me at home
and my beautiful girls
and my beautiful girls

The house will be warm for me
and for my African girls
and for my African girls

And Immigration may come to my home
for my refugee girls
for my refugee girls

But tomorrow may never make itself known
for my unwanted girls
for my unwanted girls

I'm not sure if it's any good - if anyone reads it they can judge. In my house I accommodate asylum-seekers who have been refused by the government. They get no benefits and are not allowed to work: the Red Cross gives them a weekly food parcel and there's a network of mostly Christians that take people into their homes.

In the past my house was mixed boys and girls, but lately it's become all girls (apart from me!), and they really are all beautiful, respectful, appreciative - the sort of people any country should be glad to have. They want to work, but these days illegal work is much harder to find. They aren't even allowed to go to English classes unless they can pay.

All of them miss their families, and worry about their situations, and as the months and years go by, it feels like their lives are going to waste. We have plenty of tears in the house, but everyone that visits comments on the generally happy atmosphere.

More than providing a roof, I like to think that here people have a kind of security, they live with dignity and respect, even if they have to share rooms, that they didn't have in Home Office accommodation. It's more than a house, it's a home.

And for me, I would otherwise be living alone. I'm not close to my family, no wife or kids, not much of a social life, a tendancy toward depression - this is my alternative family. It makes it a home not just for them, but for me too.

If anyone wants to help a destitute asylum seeker - which is quite legal, by the way - open your eyes, open your heart, open your home - contact the British Red Cross, or mail me.



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