Harmony Day

He stood up in front of a crowd shaking and sharing his story.

” I once lived in a beautiful country, worked as a jeweller to raise my little family. Then the civil war broke out, I was persecuted because of my religion. In the end I had to fleet the war zone I once loved as my motherland and home, with my wife and two young children.

We were exhausted and with absolutely nothing when we arrived in Sydney airport. We were greeted and embraced by two born and bred Aussies. We were given a home with all amenities close by. My children went to school one week after we settled in. They were welcomed and loved by their school community. We befriended the Vietnamese, Laos and Assyrians neighbours.

I am working in a warehouse now. Yes, I see racial discrimination at my workplace, in shops and out in the public. But I always remind myself and my family that what matters is the day we came stricken, Australia welcomed us with open arms as their own. And that is why I call Australia home.”

What a beautiful speech on “What does Harmony Day mean to you?”.

Lies

The lies he told
to remain in the Christmas Island
to stay in a foreign land
labeled as a refugee

He told the officers
that he was homosexual
a Christian,
a Muslim hater

Five years
he had been in a refugee process centre
learned to speak English
to play the guitar

And yet
the paperwork had not come
he would have to be sent back
to his homeland
where he witnessed
his father and brother’s limbs
being blown up
his mother trapped in the burning thatched house

He gathered all the courage left
in his fragmented heart
let the bleach burn his esophagus
He felt the flame and the heat
just like the bombed house fire

In the end
his desperate bravery
granted him a bridging visa
on medical grounds

He learned to play the guitar
with a voice to sing no more
He sleeped with
his plastic special passport
undeaneath his pillow

He still lied about
being homosexual
a Christian
a Muslim hater
just in case
Immigration sent him back
to a place with hellish furnace