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Freedom from Fear

July 7, 2011

by Helen Overell

Three words chalked on a blackboard
in a quiet lane in a small village
in a county south of the city,

the bold powdered strokes larger
than life in the draining light,
the doorstep a glimmer of white.

There is bitter chill in the air,
my face is a tight mask, no-one
else is on foot, few cars pass.

This could be the dwelling raided
at dawn, the children of asylum
seekers taken to a locked cell,

re-living the nightmare, father
bundled into one van, mother, sick
with fear, hustled into another,

her arms around them all through
the twists, turns, lurches, the pause
at a perimeter fence, key clang doors,

the destination just north of the city,
on the outskirts of a county town,
in a country that claims to be home.


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Helen Overell has had work published in magazines including Staple, The Interpreter’s House, The Frogmore Papers and Acumen. Her first collection, Inscapes & Horizons, was published by St Albert’s Press.

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  1. Tony Press
    July 8, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I appreciate the language and the story within the lovely and difficult words. Very nice.
    In a bit of synchronicity, today’s EVERY DAY FICTION story goes well with this poem. Take a look at the story by Virgie Townsend:
    http://www.everydayfiction.com/even-when-by-virgie-townsend/

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