#Lifttheban – a poem performed and published for Glasgow Refugee awareness – the right to work.

Hashtag lift the ban!

Work? Of course you know I can.

And will, if given half the chance,

I wouldn’t give it a second glance.

Back home…home…where is that now?

Well back home I wasn’t skinny in rags with a plough.

My city was as advanced as yours,

Before the blood and loss and corporate wars.

And I stand here now in front of you’

My life and story in full public view.

You’ve mapped my future far way ahead,

No work and poor in need of your bread.

But you know I was a teacher way over there,

And bloody good too… you losing interest and care?

My poverty shames you but my pride it surpasses,

As I try to fit inbetween layers and classes.

No drink or links to prescriptive drugs,

My guilt is wanting shared feet on your rug.

And here lies the truth of denying my work,

It’s because it’s linked to my rights and my worth.

Lawyers can use that with Article 8.

Which leads a step closer to us at the gate.

Where we could shine in shared love and unity,

Our kids holding hands to strengthen community.

So the reason to deny is linked psychopathology,

Why wouldn’t you want me to help build our economy?

But I know I’m a target, an electoral gem,

The subject of hate, “don’t let them all in!!”.

But with no work, my sanity i start to chase,

And try not to fall on the spiral staircase.

Which pulls me deeper in cycles to spin,

Can I not work and prove…please let me in!?

You need to take ownership…of what you enquire?

Well I’m probably here, due to your failed empire.

You came, stripped and left so much room.

For the horror of men and the power vacuums.

So listen, it’s easy I’m really quite clever,

And my sanctuary here might not last forever.

Unless I prove my worth if I can,

Which will happen if we hashtag lift the ban.


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