When I close my eyes the children are standing
outside in the snow; outside a locked door
and no one is home.
They are well-fed but hollow eyed;
not ragged but poorly dressed,
and not well-liked
and they know it.
they are shy, and they are lonely.
I hold out my hand from far away -
a simple gesture, not enough -
but the years won't let me through.
Sleek-haired, golden children smiled,
eyes skating away, speaking in whispers
that were sly and secret,
and the shy ones stood outside
watching and waiting.
At lunch time, blue-eyed children sat in safe clusters
passing gifts from hand to hand,
Lips upturned, and slick with cherry and chocolate,
self-satisfied and facing inwards,
while we, the dark ones, the strange ones,
those of unpronounceable name;
the always-outside children,
stood still and waited,
in the long, illimitable snowfall,
in the wind and the snow,
and the only way in was to break down the door.