Rafik

by Udo Uzozie (age 14, Navan, Co Meath)

You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention. Photograph: Getty Images

You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The smell of salt is heavy

Waves crash against the boat

The state is pandemonium

The boat rocks

Violently,

As if knowing

One wrong move

Will tip the scale.

I hold tight to my teddy

My last reminder of home

Which was left to ruins,

The sound of

Whistling footballs

Crashed through the roof

Taking my father’s pride.

Now he is hollow

With a haggard beard

And a half-bandaged face.

It’s a long night,

A convoy without end.

Boats stocked full with

People

Fleeing from the conflict,

Some with nothing

But clothes on their backs,

Worst of all

Are the smugglers

The wolf amongst

The shaved sheep.

Off in the distance,

A faint glow,

moving quickly.

I beckon to the captain

“We’ve got another one’’

He lets out a long sigh

And steers the metal beast,

Like a moth to

Candle light

A thick fog

Envelops the boat,

A beam of light

Penetrates the cloak

Of darkness,

Eyes squint.

The boat slows down

As its engine hiccups

Everyone panics

My father is Praying,

I follow his lead.

The blinding light

Hits us,

A ladder drops

Uniformed men come down

I am sent up first.

I stare into the face of a boy

He stares back,

I ask his name

He answers

“I am Rafik’’.

Article 22

You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in this Convention

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