“Waterbirth”, my piece on the refugee crisis, for the Writers For Calais Refugee Anthology.
Summer days are magic, the sun high up, blue sky over his head. He zones in on the blue. It’s beautiful. He twirls all the way round, the sky’s blue everywhere! He stands straight on his tiptoes, stretches as far as he can and goes tall. He can see the sea! It’s blue like the sky, bright blue over the line, dark blue below. Imagine blue water! Imagine water. Imagine it, cold and clear, dribbling down his throat. Gulping it fast, gobfulls, loads of them. Then sipping slow, neat, showing everybody he’s got good manners after all.
He goes towards it, slow at first then faster. It’s a long way. He keeps on, walks for miles and miles, over mountains and hills, round bends, down steep slopes and up, his calves hurt, stretched then shrinking, toes flexing, muscles straining. He stops under a sky turned navy. His throat hurts…
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