by Behrouz Boochani

Here, in the neighbourhood of the people who stare…

Here, in the neighbourhood of the people who stare for twenty-four hours
solely at walls and metal, the presence of animals is a virtue; That flock of birds
gliding at night under the dramatic moon creates a magical and striking scene
in our minds; So to the orchestra of frogs that have no home except a lagoon
that clings to the ocean; Shunning the ocean as they grow old, the eldest crabs
sink into the damp mud under the fences and after a while drift into a deep
sleep; Slithering under the fences curious snakes sometimes enter the prison
like strangers and usually lose their lives for their innocent trespass; When the
unique fish-eating eagle with a white neck dives into the ocean bed it catches a
big fish; Colourful parrots love to hold their family, gathering on the tallest
coconut trees. Here animals are the finest elements in the mind of a lonely
prisoner who has no interests but the sky, the ocean and the jungle, all beyond
the fences.

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