[Writer’s Quote Wednesday] Home

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

— Excerpt of “Home” by Warsan Shire —

After writing a flash fiction story earlier this week inspired by Warsan Shire’s poem, Home, it seemed only fitting to share the poem itself for this week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Instead of sharing the entire poem (which is pretty long), I’m sharing an excerpt of my favorite stanzas. 

With the never-ending immigration debates in our politics, the refugee crises, and the countless individual lives that continue to hang in the balance, this poem has never been more relevant. Home gives a voice to refugees and in extension, to immigrants who are looking for a better life in a new country, and Warsan presents this voice in a real, authentic, un-sugarcoated way. When you strip away all the exaggerated reports and the biased politics, the real experiences depicted in Home is what remains. 

To read the entire poem, click here


16 thoughts on “[Writer’s Quote Wednesday] Home

  1. a beautiful moving poem Jade, thank you for sharing. and just this morning before I read your post I read John O’Donohue’s “For AN Exile – here’s a few stanzas if you permit me to share.

    See the immigrant is as scared of the new life as the new country is afraid of him/her. Let there be no fear just acceptance before change.

    “Evening is without protection;
    Your room waits,
    Ready to take you
    Back like some convict
    Who is afraid
    Of the life outside.

    The things you brought from home
    Look back at you; out of place here
    They take on a lonely power.

    You cringe at the thought
    That someone from home
    Might see you now here,
    In this unsheltered room.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, I am on my way to google the entirety of his poem, because that was such a poignant few stanzas. He really understands, it seems, the plight of the immigrant. Thank you for sharing Gina! Please always feel free to share any poets or poetry with me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you Jade, glad you love his words, the book was a gift from my best friend, she knew how much I love Irish poets…LOL! But he covers a wide range of emotions and situations, this one resonated with your post.

        Liked by 1 person

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