REFUGEE
(by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers)

People ask me:
where is home?

Last time I saw my village
it was burning
in the night.

My house, a screaming
mouth
of firehot fear
in the mask of darkness.

My only thought was flight.

Nobody here understands my language, so
I speak the tongue of compromise.
The grateful grammar
of being alive.

This is my certainty, my identity.

People ask me, where is home?
I say
home is where the heart is.

At night I watch the stars:
distant villages, all aflame,
terrified angels, running away.
© Phillippa Yaa de Villiers