Sharon Tracey

170,000 Refugees Arrived in Italy Last Year

On one day, almost 1,000 arrived
on the 240-foot Monica—
400 men, 200 women and 360 children—

from Nigeria, Eritrea and Sudan
carried on a ghost ship said to sail from Cyprus
when they were stopped
the mothers threatened to drop their babies
into the blue, blue sea
if not allowed to continue on

they plan to walk north towards Milan
through the hills along citrus trails
walking through a new world
hands touching brambles
feet scrambling over rocks
small chips of green glass.
Some barefoot, some in boots
they will make their mark
pressing history into dirt

if they continue on, or not.