Rose Drew

No Last Name

Cappabaru waits.
He has only one name.
He has left his village,
where life became unlivable,
to wait in Calais.

He has no last name:
a family name suggests
a past. A family name
presumes a future. Suggests
people will search
for your story, remember your life,
tell tales of your exploits
to grandchildren.
What is life, if it is one day
to the next, a linger
aside the smog of trucks,
as they cough and wait to go to England?

What is life
but food, sleep, shit and
more of the same,
day on day? Who needs
to be remembered
for this?

Cappabaru does. Perhaps
his voice is like angels,
the sweetest of nightingales,
or: his hands. They can build
anything. His house, his tables,
his bed. Or, amazing recall.
He was the one to ask
about village history, his own mother
named the oldest one in the village,
back before the Great War.
Or he weaves.  Or teaches.
Or treats the young with particular care.
Do we care?
Do we dam up the tunnel
and forget we ever craved truffles,
just bar the gate?

Enough barbarians can storm any border.
We watch Big Brother Celebrity Dancing
and believe otherwise.
Cappabaru waits.

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