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My father’s saxophone (2000)

They talked about their yesterdays and a homeland far away,

They huddled in the barracks and had nothing good to say.

They thought about the days gone by and every snap shot made them cry;

When my father played the saxophone, they danced.

They rummaged through their memories of lives they left behind,

They tried to raise their families with work that they could find.

They cursed the darkness of the night and vowed that they would always fight;

When my father played the saxophone, they danced.

They suffered through the nightmares that followed them like ghosts,

They read the news of losses and counted up the costs.

They wondered what they had to give and gathered up a will to live:

When my father played the saxophone, they danced.

They loaded their belongings in heavy wooden crates,

They filled out forms and questionnaires and then were told to wait.

They taught their children how to hope, not always sure if they could cope;

When my father played the saxophone, they danced.

They boarded ocean liners that took them to the West,

They reassured each other that it was for the best.

They knew that they would always be their country’s homeless refugees

and everywhere they came to be,

my father played the saxophone

and they danced.

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