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REFUGEE

 

By Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

 

Friday, June 27, 2008.

 

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

 

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is a South African writer, performer, and poet living in Johannesburg. She studied journalism in South Africa and theatre in Paris and then returned to academia in the late 1990s, consolidating her passions for writing and performance with a degree in dramatic arts. She writes for a television series in South Africa. She blogs at Poet Afrika.

 

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