if we could give you a welcome

5 September, 2015

We’re grieving for you
and it’s not enough

Our tears spill as we type our name
our post code
tick the box
to say we’re British

We sign all the petitions,
the official ones, our friend’s ones
I’m number 131,678 on the independent’s one
and it only started this morning.

Our tears and our signatures
it’s all we’ve got
you can have it
please take them.
They’re not enough.

There’s a tescos filling crates
tents and air beds and toiletries

We’re all bagging jumpers
its going to get so cold
socks, thick socks
gloves too

Mums are organising car loads
and another bunch of hipsters
have filled their third van.

We give you our solidarity
and our dried packaged goods
Please take them. I know.
They’re not good enough.

We’ve got our streets and our neighbourhoods
and it would be enough.

We’d make you a coffee
and the kids would hide
under the table
and eat frubes

And you’d work close by
and wave at me in the garden

And you’d feel welcome
and safe

The ‘you’ would go, and the ‘we’ would leave
and it’d just be us

It would be enough.

We’re in bits
but we’ve nothing to give.

Our words and our names
and our supermarket crates

don’t make up for immigration policy
or border police

all we have for your lost
is not enough.

refugees welcome

Please consider supporting the #savesyriaschildren campaign, you can text SYRIA to 70008 to give £5 to Save the Children. Thanks to Annie for the photo- if you’d like to join in do take your own photo or use one of Annie’s. 

And for loads of ideas about how else to help please do check out Sacraparental

I hope to see you at the march in London on Saturday 12th. It is my birthday and I can’t think of a way I’d rather spend it.  


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  • Amber 5 September, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Typing through tears. Very much all of this.

  • Rebecca 5 September, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Very touching, it’s utterly heartbreaking. xx

  • lisa lock 5 September, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Nice words. I am running the Bath Half Marathon in March to raise money for Doctors of The World Calais appeal

    You can sponsor me here

    If they can do the journey that they have then I think I can run 13 poxy miles!

  • M 5 September, 2015 at 9:20 am

    What’s wrong with France?
    Come to the uk because it’s what?

    • Lucy 5 September, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Hmm? I think all safe countries should open their doors

  • Carie 5 September, 2015 at 11:30 am

    yes yes and yes again. And I’m oddly reminded of the last verse of In the Bleak Midwinter “..but what I can I give him, give my heart”. We’re doing everything we can do to help and to persuade those we elected to step out of politics and step into humanity and all that is left for us to give is our heart: sympathy, welcome, acceptance, the things that show we recognise refugees as people fleeing terror not swarming pests.

  • Becky 5 September, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    You are so right – it is not enough. All safe countries should provide a haven for these people. We take so much for granted in this country that some people just cannot understand the desperate plight of these people. They don’t come to steal jobs and get free houses. They come for a life free of fear.

  • The Refugee Crisis: 13 Things You Can Do To Help - Sacraparental 5 September, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    […] There is a place for shedding true salty tears at all this tragedy. There is a place for lament. […]

  • Erin McCulloch 8 September, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Amazingly said!