Cate Chapman, Grade 8, Caringbah High School -
‘We’re leaving,’ they say. They’ve been talking for weeks,
of escape, and war, and how they have no choice.
The morning they leave is clear and bright.
Her favourite type of morning, before the war.
Before the violence and the fighting had torn it apart.
She follows her mother onto a hastily constructed boat of timber
where the people sit with oars in callused hands,
the smell of sweat and salt on the air.
Day after day, hour after hour
among hundreds just the same as you and I.
Waves of steel that want to bring them down,
seafoam that shatters like glass.
Every time the sun fades away, a glimmer of hope is lost.
All for the sake of finding a place,
a safe place,
that they can call home.