Beautiful Boy

(Wednesday 28th August 2013)
A 16 year old Somali boy – one among a group of unaccompanied children who are currently incarcerated on Christmas Island and are subject to Labor’s new policy of denying anyone asylum in Australia – was found hanging in a bathroom this past weekend. He is now seriously ill in Royal Perth Hospital.

Beautiful Boy

I do not know your name
I do not know the story of these 16 years
you have lived.

I do not know the names
of those who mourn
your absence.

I do not know the stories
held in your body
hidden in your heart.

I will not call you by a number

and I do not want to offend. But

may I call you Beautiful Boy?

All boys are born beautiful-
though not one can sit in for another.
And all boys are precious to the earth –
though each has his own song.

Beautiful Boy.

I wish I could embrace you with poetry –
furnish you with armour,
a shawl,
a nest

a safe place
where the winds of love
call your name

where your song is free
to grow strong.

But here I am
just weeping tears

for your 16 years.

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