Happy Friday Everyone! If you have been keeping up with the blog lately, you may have noticed quite a few recent posts about refugees. Literacy Connexus has been focusing some of our attention on the needs of refugees in our communities and how to serve them and the refugees that are expected to join us within the next year.

Today’s post won’t be long, but I do think it’s incredibly important. If you remember an earlier post I made on community partnerships, where Temesghen Asmeron spoke on his experience as a refugee and how literacy organizations could become good community partners, here is a little more food for thought on the refugee experience. This time, in the form of a poem, “Home”, written by Warsan Shire.

Warsan Shire—a Somali British writer, poet, editor and teacher—wrote “Home” to reflect the experience of those who are forced to leave their homes around the world. 


no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.


no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

It is easy, sometimes too easy, to judge what we think others should have done in a situation and to say what we would have done differently. But this poem by Warsan Shire, gives us all a little more perspective into what brings a refugee to our country, and hopefully gives us all a little encouragement to make this new strange place, feel a little like home.

To read the complete poem click here, or check out a reading of the poem below.

For more information about the author, check out their Facebook here.