I have a recurrent dream.
It’s a long journey,
but not on foot. It’s too fast,
more like I’m floating towards
a shifting sunbeam.

I start low, a gradual climb,
passing by unfamiliar sites,
left and up a big round hill,
then slow down to where
travellers gather.

It’s always the same route.
I’m only half aware.
Except this time I meet a girl.
She is perhaps ten.
She is slight and proper.

She sits by herself,
Her mouth is closed
by a feeding apparatus.
Her name is Sofie, I know,
that she is under,

that she is a real person
not originally from here,
that she’s come all the way
following the same beam
over the frozen horizon.

I notice the others dance
with their pink runny noses,
a nursery rhyme sung
in a guttural tongue made
gentle by circumstance.

They are trying to negate
the difference of language,
the economic divide
and the general manner
of an asylum seeker.

The parents, in tatter,
sweep in the background
a dreadfully yellow field.
Up ahead, uniformed men
scan for signs of danger.

Tents blow in and out.
The sound could be techno
had it the decency of a beat
or the decor of a movie
shot in the dead of winter.

This is the landscape
of giving up, of inviting
the non-living, the couch,
the chair, the square shapes
of an empty room to prosper

when I’m awake, when I work,
or sit down with my family
to stare at signs of life,
when I drive through
some kind of manned barrier.