My Refugee Life
By Ro Anamul Hasan
Under this tarpauline shelter,
I dwell like ants in hole
Spending my mundane life
By hankering for home and homeland
My dark night never turns into daylight.
In daytime, I stand at the queue
By holding ration-card for foods
Sometimes, I’m whipped with sticks
Sometimes, I’m fallen and crashed
For these, I forget the day I smiled.
Having always the same tasteless foods
I lose my appetite bit by bit
Children murmur with mother
I hardly swallow just to survive
For these, I forget the day I laughed.
Men are lined up to refill stove-gas
Women, for soaps and sanitation
Children, to pour water into vessels
The queue is as long as my eyes can see
Vessels are many as my mind can count
For these, I forget the day I exulted.
The night under this shelter lengthens
My head on pillow with open eyes
The memories in mind get recalled
Soon my cheeks get wet with tears
Indeed, I forget the nights I slept in peace.
Where I was and now where I am surviving
What I did and now what I’m doing
Who I was and now who I am
Today, I’ve to look for charity like a beggar
Indeed, I forget the diginity I belonged.
The actual meaning of refugee life is
Just yearning for homeland every moment
Battle of homesickness,
Battle of sleeplessness,
Battle of nostalgia,
Downhearted mood darkens deeper
The whole world gets darker and darker
Indeed, I forget the face I had in my own land.
Ro Anamul Hasan is a Rohingya poet, currently residing in the world’s largest refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.