We are honoured to share this beautiful poem by writer and poetesse Ines Topi about the new tragedy in Lampedusa this weekend where 700 migrants didn't reach the European shores. The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, reported that the latest sinking could amount to the largest loss of life during a migrant crossing to Europe. At least another 900 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean in 2014.



I came to this country with a suitcase full of dreams,
Not my dreams, mine were too young,
A million thoughts, but none my own,
My eyes were passionately blind.

I came to this country with a heart full of hopes,
Not my hopes, they were not mine, 
Hopes of those I left behind,
Hopes of those I was to find. 

I came to this country with no wrinkles on my face,
Yet they were painted long ago,
Before they even knew my name,
They knew what I would never know.

I didn’t run, I didn’t cry,
I was the soldier sent to try,
I had to make my people proud,
They turned my body inside out,
I smiled all day and laughed all night,
When I went back they beat me numb,
They didn’t recognise my smile,
It was not theirs, it was not mine,
And all deserters had to die.

They found no laws for what I’d done,
So what was left, they called exile,
They turned my body inside out,
They left it all empty inside,
They hissed and yelled,
And spit and frowned,
But all I did was laugh and smile,
Until I recognised a smile,
Which was all new, which was all mine.

I came to this country with a smile on my face,
And memories to haunt my life,
Too old for some and yet too young,
To love what I was to become. 

Dedicated to those migrants who did not survive to tell their tales. All lives should matter, yet theirs didn't.

Discover more of Ines's writing at