There is a foreigner

on this shore.

From foreign lands, with 

Foreign hands, 

Knocking at my door.


There is a stranger

fleeing a foreign God’s war.

A common whore, from 

common lore, 

straddling the threshold. 


There is a deserter

outside in the mud.

Country and people

discarded, she a scythe

Of roots and blood. 


There is a woman

Forced to standby. 

As waves of white wash

her children clean

Of the ties that bind. 


There is a cord

Lying limp between 

mother and daughter,

traditions lost in the space

Of another. 


There is a first born

First child to be lost

First to mourn this 

life adrift, first to 

Know the cost.


There is a foreigner,

At the door– my foreign 

mother, I her foreign 

daughter, wishing she had

Never landed

On these shores. 


Ava Fathi

Ava Fathi is a student by day and a writer by night at the University of Toronto, where she majors in English Literature. She’s a storyteller of all genres but has a special interest in fantasy and folklore. Her work grapples with diasporic isolation and generational trauma. This is her first published work. 

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