Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Statistics of hope

Count to three: one two three, there’s another
one two three, and another displaced person,

one every three seconds, somewhere in the world.
One two three. In Chad a woman travels in a cart

30km to a mobile clinic, collapses 300m short.
A doctor checks Bless, a seven month old girl,

suspected malaria. One two three
In Tripoli: women are detained, 30 in a small room,

one blanket each, they’ve been there months,
it may become years, no access to law, no medical care.

Fifty-eight refugees adrift in the Med in one small boat.
412 rescued from the water, escaping

Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.
One two three: one little boy sits alone

on a floor in a corridor in a former resort in Greece,
now used for refugees needing mental health care.

In Nairobi 400 people each month arrive at one clinic.
In Nigeria 45,000 refugees pack one camp

for displaced people from Cameroon.
One two three. Gloria, aged 11 years,

displaced in Malawi, HIV and TB positive.
8,000 in a camp near Raqqa, Syria,

there for months, years.
Hundreds of thousands from Myanmar

seek shelter from the monsoon in rice fields in Bangladesh.
Drowning in hope, they wait for permission to move.

One in every 113 people on the planet is a refugee
in 2017

Someone is displaced every three seconds
One two three. 65million displaced people

in the world, now, one two three
Debora Njala, 18, HIV and TB positive, in Malawi, says:

“I will achieve my dreams and the future is bright.”
One two three. A man, a woman, two children

in a camp in Lesvos, not allowed
to leave for mainland Europe.

The father, Karon says:
“It is my true dream that my children will live

in a country without war, without bloodshed.
This is the only thing I wish for.”

All it takes is the will of the developed world …
one two three …

In the time it takes to read this poem 100 people in the world will become displaced.

© Jackie Biggs

A Year in Pictures 2017

Jackie Biggs has had poetry published in many magazines and anthologies, both print and online. Her first collection is The Spaces in Between (2015). She blogs at: The Spaces in Between. Twitter: @JackieNews