Not one more step, the soldier said.
You must go back. You can’t stay here.

They’re killing little boys! I said.
We can’t go back – you’ve no idea.

They’re killing all the little boys;
we have a boy. We can’t stay there.

Do you have proof of what you say?
It’s really none of our affair.

They’re killing baby boys! I said.
Here is my son. We have to stay.

Do you have proof of who you are?
No, we’ve none. We ran away;

didn’t have time to grab a thing.
We just ran out, soon as we heard.

Soldier looks us up and down.
Seems like he doesn’t believe a word.

What makes you think I can let you in?
What made you think we could let you stay?

Anyone kind would let us in.
We border with you; it’s the quickest way.

Do you know anyone from here;
someone who’d vouch for you today?

No we haven’t anyone.
Couldn’t you look the other way?

More than my job is worth, he said.
Unless of course you’re gonna pay.

We haven’t any cash I said.
We’ve only got the clothes we wear.

Your only way to get in, he said,
is to go back home and apply from there.

I fall at his feet and I start to shout;
we are not getting anywhere.


Soldier shifts his gun. He says:
No need at all to raise your voice.

© Lucy Berry