Paper Boats

Image by Geson Ratow

 

Paper boats conjure dreams
of petals soaked by
scents of the
ocean.

Traveling boats
float in shadows
people
who have a simple hope
for happy lands,
but white markers sink
in sandy earth
marking graves of people
who cannot resist new germs.

‘Once watched paper boats,’
paternal grandfather says
in Vietnamese
but nobody understands
No translators here.

So shadow puppets dance
for petals
falling from kumquat boughs.

By June Perkins

Appeared on Australian Children’s Poetry for Refugee Week Prompt