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Thursday, 29 October 2020 10:16

The Migrants

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in Poetry
150
The Migrants

The Migrants

by Martin Rowson

In the hot stifling tiny room
The cold dead eyes blanked
     Even an iota
Of their torment or their tears
Or their mourning as the dead voice
     Catechized on quotas,
Spoke flatly of the processes,
Rules, restrictions, retributions,
     The penalties compounded by each error,
The limits on their movements,
The denial of information,
     The incremental, automatic ratchetting of terror
Until, right at the end,
The mask slipped for an instant
     As they stood to be led out and their feet began to burn:
The demon scratched its horns and shrugged
And mumbled, "I just don't get it.
     When will these klutzes ever learn?
Why do they keep on coming here at all?
Ah well. Funny old world." The demon coughed into the sulphurous air
     And picked up a pile of ledgers
As on the wall behind it
The current Hell Secretary's portrait
     Got crisper at its edges
While they were led away
To a distant pit, to wait. And wait. And wait
     And wait among rank upon innumerable rank
Of those who'd made it this far,
Far further than the corpses washing through the clinker
     And clumping along the Styx's opposite bank.

Read 150 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 October 2020 10:23
Martin Rowson

Martin Rowson is a multi-award-winning cartoonist, writer and broadcaster. Photo: Fred Rowson.

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