“Camp” by Althea Romeo-Mark

Image Courtesy of Tracy Hunter. Shared via a Creative Commons license.



We are thrown together
in this quarter where
yesterday’s news headline
“Refugee Flung from Window,”
still hangs in the air like a stench.

There is nowhere to go, nothing to do
Our fate in the hands of authority,
we wait, hang out at the neighborhood park
like autumn leaves gathered by wind.

We read menacing messages in the scowls
of passers-by. Some circle around,
mark the territory with treads of footprints,
count down days to our departure.

They haven’t heard yet what we have been told.
This refugee housing is now official.
They will flee this neighborhood
as if it was an “infested” place.


Born in Antigua, West Indies, Althea Romeo-Mark is an educator and writer who grew up in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. She has lived and taught in St. Thomas, USA, Liberia (1976-1990), London, England (1990-1991), and in Switzerland since 1991. She was awarded the Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize by The Caribbean Writer in 2009. Her last collection, If Only the Dust Would Settle was published in 2009.