Poetry by Sue Parritt, Victoria Regional Meeting

July 1970

I’m migrating to Australia seeking a better life
My father helps me pack my few belongings
My mother weeps
The ship is crowded with hundreds of other
Optimistic souls
Week after week we plough through  stormy seas
Vomit day after day

August 1970

I disembark at Circular Quay
Am driven with other new migrants
To a camp called Villawood
Iron-roofed huts dot dusty ground
Metal chairs chafe our sea-softened skin
In the dining room I swallow bland food
Baulk at orange mush
Blush as a stranger opposite
Snatches my plate smiles gobbles belches
Later some of us are transported to  Central Station
We sit up all night in cold carriages
Children crying adults coughing
In the morning a railway employee spills milk
Over my best coat and doesn’t even say sorry

September 1970

Bright Brisbane morning
Sapphire sky swaying palms friendly smiles
The long journey is over
I have reached the Lucky Country

May 2011

Asylum seeker boat intercepted
Taken to Christmas Island
Captivity misery armed guards
No welcome smiles
No journey’s end

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