I am moving in the dead of night,
packing things, turning out lights.
My fingers tie knots like fish nets.
I want to be in my mother’s house
but she is all the way over
the other side of the world. Boxes;
I can’t see out of the back window.
Leila is a bundle in her car seat.
Her small mouth hanging open.
Maybe it is not innocence after all,
it could be the sleep of oblivion.
My headlights are paranoic eyes
sweeping the streets for – what?
A split second before they appeared
I thought I was safe. What is that fear.
Does it have a name. They want my name.
Their smiles tighten my stomach.
I bite on my tongue, hard. Their faces.
I have no witness. They take my licence,
my papers. Now there is nothing left
but to go with the men in plain suits.
Leila stirs and opens her eyes wide.
I try and say something to soothe.
My voice is a house with the roof
blown off. What do I tell my daughter –
We are done for. There is a need to worry.
I cannot lie to her. The night dreams
my terror; a slow light tails the fast car;
Leila tugs at my coat. I whisper
her cradle song and she holds on.