14665135066_d73ae0a24a_k
Type
Poetry Prize

Highly Commended: An Arrival

We came across water

made shore in darkness

woke on sand.

 

We saw strong  young men, warriors.

They came towards us,

pointed their weapons at us.

 

They asked us who we were, why we had come. Sat us down on the earth to wait.

They gave us water. We were weak from travel, exhausted.

 

News spread.

 

They came, the delegates.

Stern folk who smiled cold like the ones we ran from.

Healers came.

They had travelled overnight to reach us.

 

The nurses, the doctors

they closed their mouths.

 

Their lips did not know the shape

of the desperation they saw

in bodies, in faces.

 

Their hearts did not know the strange

strength of the hope under our flesh.

 

But their eyes knew the stories of the scars.

 

Their bones had not known the weight

of those who had died on the journey.

 

Their hands did not know the shape of

the fears we carried.

 

But they saw the long shadows stretching out behind us.

 

They did not understand us,

or we them.

 

But to hope is to open

and through it we are opened.

 

So it began.

 

 

Image: Brisbane Waters sunset

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Grace Lucas-Pennington is a young Aboriginal woman of Bundjalung/European descent. Growing up, she spent her time between Northern NSW and the Logan/Brisbane area. Grace is interested in publishing, politics, media, social justice, and the arts. She is passionate about First Nations writing, and promoting our stories. Grace currently has a position with the Black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project as a Trainee Editor.

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