Barry Charman

Razorwire

The wire in her hair tugs, the little girl cries – she doesn’t understand – her mother pulls her free. She urges her, on on on. They can’t stop. She thinks of the doll they dropped all those weeks ago, how the girl had cried, but they couldn’t stop, couldn’t look back. They had struggled to the shore, the cold air rushing towards them, like a mocking embrace. Now, she sees the fence looming ahead, in her dreams it was shorter. She never imagined the wire, they’ve already crawled under one sharp coil, now they must do it again. She wants to stop running, yearns for it all to finally stop. A new home. A peace. A pause, at least. The girl is sobbing. The tunnel beyond the fence is a yawning mouth, she feels it will swallow them whole, but she will do anything to keep her baby safe, she scoops her up, rushes forward.

The night is suddenly alive with tension. Hands have her. There are voices, whistles.

She falls to her knees, her baby girl tucked up between her legs, as safe as she can be. She holds her tight, sobs, waits for more men to come.

Waits for it to end, so it can all begin again.

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