Friday Poem – ‘Nativity’, Caroline Smith


Our Friday Poem this week is a modern-day parallel to the Nativity story, where we see the hardships faced by a migrant couple upon the birth of their child.

The Immigration Handbook Caroline Smith‘Nativity’ is taken from Caroline Smith’s collection, The Immigration Handbook, which tells the stories of immigrants seeking citizenship in the UK – their hopes, their anguish, the bureaucracy they face, and their small moments of triumph. In these strikingly moving poems, the characters step vividly off the page, and we listen to their often harrowing stories as if first-hand. Caroline Smith’s poems are a moving record of global people movement, the story of our time.

 

Nativity

She lay on the sofa
its hard cushions
squashed down into the corner
under the heavy paisley quilt
she’d found there.
There was nothing
left to eat in the fridge,
its door nudged open
swollen with ice,
the fibrous cold
stealing into the room.
Just ice and knots of sweetcorn
heaped in a corner
like rancid yellow straw,
and a bottle of baby milk
left by the Kosovan family
housed there before her.
She’d heard they’d been allowed to stay.
Baby John Harris Farruku
brother to Adriatuk, Flutura and Etmir,
born three days inside the amnesty.
His birth had allowed
the family to begin again
given them the hope
of an ordinary life.

 

The Immigration Handbook is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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