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How We See The World

Eleanor Austin

Sometimes, I can’t see it at all –

It’s like someone holds the remote

And sometimes plays with stop,

And sometimes plays with play.

Sometimes it’s like the world is sad and I can see it crying –

But it’s just raining and cloudy.

Sometimes my head is thinking and wary,

The world seems unwelcoming, dangerous, scary,

So who will look out for us?

How do we see the world

if it is agitated, unstable, and sick?

I don’t have a choice. But I am an adult, I don’t complain anyway.

When I look at the world with my eyes,

Sometimes I see it running to a disaster,

Where I live isn’t safe anymore,

Sometimes I don’t where I am.

I close my eyes.

My mind feels cloudy,

But I let the rain clean my thinking –

I smile at the world

and the world smiles back at me,

The world is promising me a hope, a future,

So I make a journey to the home inside my head.

I get up to start my journey –

Yes, it is long,

Yes, it is difficult,

But I need to do something.

I turn left at the blue tree and enter a garden

of flowers and seashells,

enchanted with sweet smells

of basil, tomatoes,

a bed where every plant grows,

a bed where every plant is sown

and painted by hand –

I pause, and I stand

With my face pressed against the window

Of a kitchen with a cupboard

Where I reach in and I pull out anything I can dream of;

I follow the trees round the back to a farm: A horse, rabbit, bear, and a pig are all there,

Making music, making fun,

In the warmth of the sun –

I smile at the friends,

And the friends smile back at me,

They welcome me in to play sticks and drink tea.

When I open my eyes,

We are all different colours,

But when I look with my head,

I see each one of us loves us.

My friends and I are from Cameroon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Manchester,

And that afternoon, we each speak in Urdu, French, Tigrinya, and English,

But we all speak the same language,

We understand, because we are a humanity in solidarity.

So if you’re looking out for me:

Smile, turn left at the blue tree…

Eleanor Austin (2020)

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