She reminded me of my daughter with her dark intelligent eyes And her brown hair bunching in lazy curls about her shoulders. She looked up at me as I hoisted the boat clear of the sea and smiled with even white teeth And seemed, somehow, unafraid. There were other children, wet and ragged, but also unbowed, Unbowed by the shark-grey navy boat and its navy men in mindless grey camouflage With their guns strapped low on their thighs so maybe they could quick draw and get a bead on … whom? Maybe an eight-year-old girl or her six-year-old brother, or their mother or father, or the cutthroat crew Barefoot and threadbare as any hobo. But there she was smiling up at me Unbowed by white phosphorous, unbowed by bulldozers or dictators Unbowed by imperial America or her attack dogs and satraps Unbowed by hunger or by flood She smiled the whole way up and I retracted the davit arm and lowered the boat into its housing The customs men wore their guns a little higher and were dressed in dark blue jumpsuits and jackboots, they wore white latex gloves, laughed among themselves and barked orders in English to refugees. I watched as the girl left the boat and waited in line I watched as she took the hand of a much younger girl, and together and with all the other refugees they were directed down the stairs to the prison block.
MacLennan, Ciaran. By sea they come [online]. Meanjin, Vol. 71, No. 3, Spring 2012: 17-19. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=805176195748687;res=IELLCC> ISSN: 0025-6293. [cited 18 Nov 12].
See also by the sea they come