Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Collection of Refugee Poems

By Kaia Wootton

 

Hiding

All balled up
Knees in face
In the cupboard
Packed like sardines
My family prays and wishes
Pass by
Pass by
Pay no mind
In my head I scream
Go away!
Go away!
In my thoughts I wonder
Why are the Germans so evil
Just because Mama and Papa say ‘Jewish’ when we were asked
What will they do to me
Me and Mama
Me and Papa
Me and Adam
Me and my dog, Truffles
They leave
We are still hiding
Hiding
Hiding
Hiding
Tucked away
Hiding

Ready

Mama says to get my best shoes on
Papa says to grab food
Adam says to pack my bag
Truffles says nothing
Mama says to leave Truffles behind
Papa says to practice running in the house
Adam says to bring Truffles
I say yes
Truffles kisses me
Mama says, Anna, we’re ready
Papa says to grab my stuff, even Truffles
Adam says we are ready
Ready
Ready
Ready

Run

Papa thrusts open the door
Wind swims in
I imagine getting shot
I shudder
So does Truffles
Mama says we are not going back
I forgot my doll
She doesn’t care
I scream louder than gunfire
My doll will be gone forever
Papa clutches my mouth
Adam boils with anger
Truffles whimpers
Crackling pavement
Boots loaded with cruelty
Mama yells, RUN
Papa screams, FASTER THAN EVER
Adam listens
I run fastest
We run
Away from evil
But they run, too
We run
Run
Run
Run
Run
Run

Dead

Gunfire
Erupting
A body collapses
It’s Papa
I screech, PAPA, PAPA
Mama says don’t look back
Or I’ll have the same fate
Whatever that means
My legs carry me away from where I left my heart
Quicker than ever
I don’t know why
I want to go back
But Papa is dead
I have to tell myself
Dead
Dead
Dead

Nightfall

It is dark
Dark
Dark
There are no stars
Stars
Stars
My thoughts seem to echo
Echo
Echo
Are we safe here
Or do we still have to run
Run
Run
Is this all a dream
Is Papa really dead
Will I ever see him again
Again
Again
Will I ever rest
Rest
Rest
Is this all inside my head
Head
Head
Nightfall
Red and orange streaks
Slivers of pink and purple
Chunks of gold and teal
No faint light of future stars
All I see in this sunset
Streaks of blood
Slivers of Papa’s memories
Chunks of the gunfire
Nightfall
A coat of black
Nightfall
Silence but screaming thoughts
Nightfall

Gone

Morning breaks
Are we safe?
I pick up my head
Flung across Adam’s strong arms
My older brother
Dampened with sweat
Mother says to put me down
To lay me across the ground
Ground
Ground
Mother says I am sweatier than them
Says Truffles is gone
Gone
Gone
Says I’m cold and hot
Says I’ll survive
Still I wonder
Will I too die
Die
Die
Or are we safe
A change of heart tells me so
My sudden pains disagree
My head is burning
My chest aflame
My head near frozen
My feet cold as ice
My stomach claws
I need food
Food
Food
Mother gives me endless pieces of the fruit she brought
Douses my mouth with canteen water
I need to rest
To sleep against the scorching sun
The blinding lights
When I wake up will I be here
Or will I be gone
Gone
Gone

Memories

Adam wakes me up
Don’t forget the memories, he says
I do not understand
Don’t forget the memories
I try hard to remember
Don’t forget the memories
Papa and Truffles and my Dolly, I mutter
Don’t forget the memories
Shaggy brown fur and big green eyes
Don’t forget the memories
A loving heart brimmed with kindness
That both Truffles and Papa had
Don’t forget the memories
Tall with arms stronger than Adam with more hugs to go around
Don’t forget the memories
A warm floppy body with red yarn strands acting like hair
Do not forget the memories
Patches Mama sewed and round button eyes
Do not forget the memories
I will not forget the memories
Do not forget the memories
Not forget the memories
Forget the memories
The memories
Memories

Survive

Agony worse than any other
Rips through my skin
Courses through my blood
Engulfs my bones
I scream
Louder than when I left my dolly behind
Mama grabs her canteen as she shushes me
Not all is safe in this meadow
דאָס איז נישט אונדזער היים.
This is not our home
That’s all Mama says
I will close my mouth
I try to speak the same language as her
I try, but I can’t
I must live for her
For Adam
For my dolly
For Truffles
For Papa
I will survive
No matter how
I will survive

One comment

  1. Zack Fleishman /

    I love to see high-level writing from our youth. Kaia is clearly a name to watch, big congratulations to you for this work of art. It is deep, striking, and honest.

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