A Pot from Damascus

Encased behind glass, enshrined in a museum 

it stands under warm lights 

which reflect off its rounded ceramic curves 

lighting up the centuries-old aquamarine glaze

the same colour as the Mediterranean Sea 

 

No doubt we paid to fly it here on a plane, swaddled in soft packaging 

I doubt it was shoved onto a leaky boat that threatened to sink 

and dump it into the sea 

 

Its body will never be tossed by careless waves

its mouth submerged and filled with salty water pushing it down, down, down

to arrive a broken and empty vessel 

on a desolate foreign shore 

 

It’s too precious for that

 

It would be passed between nations for large sums of money

welcomed by anyone

There are no queues, no lines, no wait lists 

Doors are held open and officials smile 

 

Its city has been levelled to the ground 

like an anthill stomped upon by careless children  

scattering the ants in a flurry of alarm 

their tiny legs struggling to evade descending boots 

but now it is held safely by another nation 

 

They could not leave it to such ruin 

such catastrophe 

It must be preserved from the destruction 

preserved and protected 

 

What does it say

when nations value people from Damascus 

less than a pot?