Photographs of Refugees

by Martha Ronk

A photo spread across the center divide imitates enormity,

black-and-white sea ridges, erupting surfaces in constant motion

ongoing and endless to the edge of the page where chalky sky

takes over, in the far distance a rubber raft crammed low in the water,

two men drag themselves after days at sea,

struggling to pull from the shallows, weighted by winter coats,

space blankets reflecting light folded over the shoulders

of a woman shading her eyes, intent on what can’t be seen,

the photographer writes he’s only a witness to the surge,

Idomeni 2015—. . . what is witnessing, as if in and out

in and out of the sea, in a distant room unable to pull away.

Last updated December 07, 2022