A Safe Place - My new country, by Jade

By Jade, a member of our creative writing group Write to Life

How are you? I was asked
Yes, yes! was my answer.
I had arrived in my new country, Britain
Having run away from a dictator
Just to save my life.

I laugh about it now
Looking back at how I struggled 
To say hello to my neighbour.
The way of life here is different 
But I have adjusted to my new country
I have learnt the language 
“Hello love, tea, please!”
I ask the waiter, with a smile 
Or when I want pizza or a Big Mac
I can give my order with pride.

When I first arrived,
I feared going out
Afraid I would meet someone
Who would say hello to me or ask me something 
I feared going to the corner shop
to the supermarkets 
Even going outside my small room was terrifying 
In case I met someone who would greet me.
When I went out I did not want to meet anyone
So I would either turn back
Or walk into a side road 
For fear of not being good enough.

When I learnt the language,
My confidence soared
I started greeting anybody who could hear
I started smiling at everyone I met
Looking back they must have thought I was mad
But I was so proud, I had learned the language
Now I am understood when I say hello 
And I can talk to my brothers and sisters.

The UK has a proud tradition of offering safety to people fleeing torture and persecution.  But times are uncertain and these values are under threat. It's time to take a stand. Will you sign our declaration and join us?

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