Poem: Distance

Written by: Memoona Ahmed. 

This is a sonnet about estrangement from friends because of parents’ distrust of foreigners — and a message to mingle and utilise our strengths. After all, we are stronger together.


An island on the bottomless ocean,

Carved long ago with a curved butcher’s blade.

Time and waters eroded the garden,

That shrivelled, blackened and early decayed.

The trees, once tall and proud, abandoned hope.

For their roots could no longer find the land.

The beach, no longer where others could cope,

For who would want its untrustworthy sands?

The letter-winged kite still travels back there,

For tropics and fear of separation,

Broken promises and silent despair,

Do not, cannot, lose in its compassion.

The sky may tremble and the seas may shift,

But no closer does the island ever drift.