Immigrant Camp

Heads bowed, don’t bother with
the small sad things when the greatest
sorrows envelop them all, come
out as unanswered whispers,
meaningless nods.

Now and then, guards strike bars,
clang after clang like ricocheted bullets
that hit nothing, hurt as if they do.

An old sickness, a broken gravestone,
a drunken husband, a careless wife –
nothing – none of them – same with
the snake bite and the hurricane wind
that blew a roof into the jungle.

Something more troubling is taking notes,
in muted light: an invisible hand,
a hooded voice, a million eyes
checking for papers.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Chronogram and Clade Song. Read other articles by John.