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The Empathy Poems project is designed to raise awareness about the plight of asylum seekers and refugees.

Ten Scared People

Ten Somalis setting out with hope
Ten more bodies to cram into a boat
And if one old imam should accidentally slip
There’ll be nine desert dwellers knowing he can’t swim.

Nine scared schoolgirls stripped of their hijabs
Someone’s daughters gang-raped in a camp
And if two raped children don’t manage to survive
There’ll be seven left pregnant, wishing they could die.

Seven Syrians fleeing for their lives
Seven more suckers to fleece for every ride
And if three sick farmers should fall and break a leg
There’ll be four men praying for the journey’s end.

Four teenagers drifting on their own
Homeless, frightened, freezing cold and soaked
And when their four bodies are washed up on the coast
There’ll be no more people left to carry hope.


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