This poem is taken from Stand 240, 21(4) December 2023 - February 2024.

Niels Hav Three Poems
Let’s Say
Illegal in Istanbul or in Cophenhagen

The UN estimates that there are now more than 100 million refugees in the world, each with their own history and destiny. Turkey is the country that hosts the most refugees

I met him in Istanbul where I was sitting and having a smoke in front of the local mosque where people flocked to pray. He approached me to beg for money, but he couched it nicely as polite interest in my person. He was from Tunisia, but he used to work illegally in Italy. Had been caught in a raid and deported to Tunisia.

Now he was on his way back to Italy where his wife and children are. But it was a difficult journey. So far, he had only made it to Istanbul. His plan was to go to Ankara and contact the Italian embassy there in the hope of getting a visa.
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