At school there was a weekly collection
for charity.
I saved up my biscuit money
so that
I did not seem different, more impoverished
than the rest.
And so that I had something to give to those
less fortunate.
I knew what charities were, you see.
Well, except for the one called
I did not know what refugees were.
This was 1956.
Only six years after the ending of a war
creating millions
of refugees
and I had to ask what they were
several times.
Even then,
I didn’t understand.
It made no sense to me.
I didn’t understand.

First published in Tuck Magazine, February 2018


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