And there was no room at the inn – Wordle 228

Existence on the fringe of civil war
insupportable but to leave almost worse –
flight the only choice to preserve life
or so they thought.

In single file they crept along the difficult terrain
through the night and through the day
trudging on for many more.
Already exhausted by the trek
when the sea came into view
their fear grew.  What to do?
They’d never seen such a barrier before.
The plan was starting to unravel –
how to cross this vast expanse of water?

They met a man who spoke of rescue:
for baksheesh he would take them
in his flimsy boat, to safety on the other side,
where all would be calm and good.
They offered all they had, which wasn’t much,
begged him to accept.
One by one they clambered aboard until
the boat was jammed with humanity.

Barely afloat, the boat
was launched by their extortionist  –
who remained on shore to gloat over his riches.
Current, wind and weather
took the overload to a foreign shore
where a welcome less than warm awaited
those who had survived the odyssey.

How the story ends, I do not know,
for their goal of safety shifted
as country after country argues,
stalls, debates; sends them on,
to begin again a march to they know not where.


Find other wordle poems at Brenda’s Sunday Whirl


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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38 Responses to And there was no room at the inn – Wordle 228

  1. Compassionate with a feel of helplessness. My grandparents came to the US from Russia via Governor’s Island.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    The title fits so well with your poem – and makes me wonder how uncharitable we can all become given the right propaganda and circumstances and fears.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bryan Ens says:

    This poem captures the heart-breaking struggle of those who strive to find a single place where they can belong. Touching piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bodhirose says:

    A tough subject described so well through your poem, Viv. I have no answers…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Te statue of Liberty is wearing a blindfold, & turning red with shame & spilled blood. Not since WWII has there been such a mass exodus. Your poem is magnificent, your heartfelt words a tribute to those suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary says:

    A situation well portrayed. We DO have to find an answer somehow to this crisis. We just can’t keep turning people who are unsafe in their own country away.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to say it saddens me we had to shut our borders (more or less).. but accepting more refugees per capita than anyone (in Europe) we simply couldn’t go on.. at the same time we are very very far from being strained on a personal level.. It should be quite easy… but it seems like Europe is going quite another way.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really like those opening stanzas. They set such a mysterious, ominous tone.


  9. thotpurge says:

    A terrible situation and yet there are those who cannot find compassion or refuse to question the root of the crisis.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Poignant and yet so beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This whole refuge crisis is so painful and, clearly, the subject of much contention and questioning. I hope all countries will treat with with a blend of compassion and careful vetting. Such a perfect title that really calls for deeper reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. a story with conditions impresses me!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very accurate and compassionate recounting of the travails of so many. Too many!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. As Misky commented about that “There’s no parting of the seas this time – only an exodus.” I wondered if your piece would take an Old Testament turn.
    You tackled a difficult subject and captured the thorny human issues well.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You definitely painted a realistic picture of the struggle. Gosh, it kills me, feeling so helpless, when all I want to do is help. But what to do? Thanks for the read.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. irmi says:

    As you have mentioned Jock’s newest needle work today I got curious and hopped over. What did I find here? Poems. So good. – This one gave me shivers. It always makes me freezing when I imagine what they had and have to go through. This past summer we here in Bavaria had and still have to deal with this challenge and it moved me like hell. And the politics and politicians? Cold as ice… Lacking humanity. Not all of them, thanks God. – Your poem is really touching, Viv. –

    Liked by 1 person

  17. so sad and like you said – who knows what the answer will be.. c

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Many of us are refugees of sorts and we tend to forget that. When my mother and I left Germany to join my father in the States, we were not welcomed anywhere. The same held true on our return trip to Germany. We were always outsiders and it was hard to deal with. I have great empathy for those who are fleeing. You expressed their plight so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sympathise for the tough time you had.

      Liked by 1 person

    • irmi says:

      Oh, that makes me so sad what you experienced. I think one never ever can forget these. – As I said in my comment above, it’s getting so close to me what happens at the moment here in Europe, Germany, Bavaria. I attended a book reading the other day. A small volume was presented (freshly pressed) where 18 authors presented their short (but real) stories, each one telling about one refugee and his or her way and circumstances to get here. The reading spread during one week and they were telling about 3 stories on each evening. The refugees partly were present, too. It moved me so much – and still does. – In a remark I tried to remember the audience (many young people, students, but older visitors too) to the flight problem before and during WWII that we were dealing with in Europe and that many of the refugees then had to pass country after country just for not being welcomed. I think even the US once had stopped the entries and the refugees landed where ever… I noticed that this – our history – is slowly being forgotten or simply just not thought of. I felt how people started thinking and they applauded to my words. I was so sad to forget to mention and remind them that out of this history our rights of asylum were born. Now they (politics) are discussing and even challenging the validity and necessity of that right and want to change (or remove?) it. –
      Not being wanted, not being welcomed is one of the badest experiences one can have. The title of the poem is so right: And there was no room at the inn…. – Christmas is calling aloud.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. 1sojournal says:

    Fear of the bad that might come certainly outweighs the good that some of these people would bring. It is such a sad statement about our world and we have learned nothing from the Exodus. Well written, Viv, with deep and powerful feelings.


    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh Viv. You’ve painted this plight beautifully. It makes me sad to hear many of my fellow Americans disparage refugees.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Candy says:

    You have so tenderly described the plight of so many

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Jae Rose says:

    Yes to be homeless and dispossessed is catastrophic – hard to imagine having to invest hope in a dingy in the ocean…but what choice do you have – the title is poignant and i agree with Misky and Old Egg…there is likely to be no end or safety in sight for some time..sobering..sitting drinking tea and writing..

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Misky says:

    There’s no parting of the sea this time — only an exodus.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. oldegg says:

    Sadly with so many refugees crossing borders welcoming countries will no doubt find that a few have come for maleficent reasons. They probably won’t know which is which for many years. It is always the rotten apple that spoils the rest.

    Liked by 2 people

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