The Other (Side) – A Poem

Syrian refugees cross into Turkey. (Photo: via UNHCR)

By Timothy McCord

I wonder if you wonder

how it would feel if the boot

were on the other foot;

would it make you shudder

to be that other that is me?


To know what I know

of violence, famine and fear

continuing year after year;

no safety in the shadows,

or comfort from the breeze.


And if you flee, the Devil takes his fee,

as you must pay your pound of flesh

for the chance to start afresh,

to be one more refugee

floating on a swollen sea.


Should you survive and finally arrive,

you’re seen as a problem:

unwanted flotsam.

But I burn to be alive,

to thrive and be free,


to put down roots and contribute

to build a life

away from strife

and tend the fruit

of a planted tree.


I wonder if you wonder

what you would do if the boot

were on the other foot;

would you sit and suffer,

or be that other – just like me?

– Timothy McCord has a passion for writing poetry. He lives in France, where he taught English for many years. Timothy was born and grew up in Britain, and became politically active there through his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. He contributed it to The Palestine Chronicle.

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