The “Brown” Envelope – A poem by Margaret East

An amazing poem by one of our friends, Margaret

The ‘Brown’ Envelope.
Hopelessly and anxiously
Waiting for the brown envelope
To be delivered through the mail box
Dug open in the belly of the front room
Like an open mouth of the lion lurking to attack and slit
Waiting uncertainty
Waiting without any indication,
When it will drop nor what it will contain
I have waited over seven years
Checking the front door each morning
For the delivery of brown envelope
I know it carries the verdict
The decision that will change my life
For better for worse
The silent battle of waiting,
Full of anxiety and fear
Each individual affected differently
Defenceless like sheep, being led to a slaughter house,
Waiting for the delivery, of the brown envelope
Arrived young and agile
With dreams of a better safer life,
It was life of no choice basis,
Where it was a crime to touch money
Never able to work
No documents to do so
No choice of supermarket
The voucher and swipe card came with conditionalities
Clothes from PAFRAS and volunteers
Belongings remained packed, ready for next move
Anytime, anywhere, anyhow
As the law commands or dictates, fear sleepless nights, confusion, depression,
Characterised in all the veterans in struggle
And when it arrives
Body tremors and hand shaking
Picking the envelope born from the front door
With nowhere to hold on to
Just like a drowning man grabbing a piece of grass
Cannot find courage and strength
To open the contents, of the infamous brown envelope.
Alone and consumed with confusion,
Fidgeting to understand the contents
Reading the words upside down, like a hanging bat trying to swallow
He rushes straight to church.
The pastor too had sleepless nights
Praying for the contents,
His the only solace of his predicaments
Of the contents of the brown envelope
Holding onto the envelope, dropping it and picking it up,
The news was too good to bear
The young man suffocates and collapses,
No amount of resuscitation could bring him back
Drops dead out of excitement
He is now another statistic of the verdict in the brown envelope
As a mate waits for the brown envelope
The young college administrator turns down the application to pursue her
Teaching dream
Cynical and in the a voice of inherent despise she explains
“You asylum seekers” use such opportunities
To claim your status
I’m sorry, the class is full
Try next year.
The irretrievable time in the trash!
The uncalculated energy in the garbage!
Unavoidable In the position of asylum seeker.
We are human with feelings.
In the name of Jesus
Margaret East
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