This article is taken from Stand 216, 15(4) December 2017 - February 2018.

John Siberry Liberty
Bottles broke behind the embassy wall. He wondered how the mob could spare the glass. Flames trailed from a few. Daylight led him to a human hand among the succulents. The mob dispersed. But they would be back.

A small girl and a man in sunglasses watched him from the steps. Crimson glinted on the potted cactus in the girl’s hands. Only she waved back to the refugee who slept in the lee of the embassy wall his daddy the block-layer built years ago. For building the wall, his daddy had been butchered with a sickle and a large bone from a camel or donkey  –  he never heard which.   

Words on paper protected him. They waved more official forms every day, ‘this might do it for you. Your situation is irregular, to say the least.’

‘I hope it does,’ he said, thinking of his daddy.

‘If we can just sort out your status,’ they repeated.

‘I hope you can,’ he said.

Two security staff came along a path and scanned the top of the perimeter wall built years ago by his daddy the block-layer. Security cameras watched the wall but it had no wig of razor wire yet. Neither guard seemed troubled by the political excitements beyond the wall.

Death threats had come while his daddy laid his blocks; both his parents stared at the poorly spelled foreign text and then his father stabbed a water melon and spoke to himself.

‘We wil pis in ...
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