The kindness of strangers

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Poem by Debora Singer

Debora Singer, Author at Free Movement

In 1939

Solomon flees Nazi persecution

and comes to England

sponsored by the kindness of strangers

A Christian family who give him bed and board


detained on the Isle of Man

an enemy alien

surrounded again by fences

reminiscent of the barbed wire at Dachau

As a dentist,

released but not allowed to work

The British dentists fearful for their jobs

He tends the teeth of Jewish refugees

off the Finchley Road

In 2020

Mohammed jumps off a lorry

and claims asylum from persecution

When his asylum claim is finally refused

he is detained in Harmondsworth

his small room reminiscent of the cell

where he was tortured in his country

As the coronavirus spreads throughout the world

Mohammed is released

hosted by Solomon’s granddaughter, Ruth

The kindness of strangers

A doctor,

but not allowed to work

due to the pull factor this might create

Mohammed diagnoses symptoms in Ruth’s family

keeping them safe

during lockdown

Debora Singer