They called themselves freedom fighters,

but they never let him know

freedom from what,

freedom for what.

And he never understood

why they did all those things to his father,

right in front if his eyes.


But worse than the nightmare

of his father's violent death

was this empty room

when he woke up, today, at dawn,

and the silence.


This empty gray room

and the lights from last night in his mind,

the lights from the island,

the lights that receded

once their tiny boat was on the open sea,

the lights that kept drowning in the dark waves: the vanishing lights,

and the waves that washed his mother overboard.


This empty gray room, the silence inside him,

the loneliness when he lost sight of his mom,

the image of his younger brothers

when they were losing their strength far from the capsized boat,

the image of little Ali giving in to the waves first, and then Ismail,

God did not listen, God did not keep his promise,

and the silence when they had gone.


The silence in this empty gray room

the empty gray room on the island at last, the silence

at the dawn of his first day in Europe,

all alone in this empty gray room

and the silence.




                                                                                                                                                                                 Konstantin Fischer, 2016