Three Migrants and an Ass

Your papers, please. “Well, Sir, we had to flee
Chop-chop, no time to pack. Thing is, you see…”
“The local tyrant wanted my son dead.”
Not that sob-story again ! Can’t you, instead,
Try something new ? Next thing, you’ll want a handout.
Can’t you say anything to make you stand out ?
To put it plainly, what can you contribute
To our fair land you hope you can inhabit ?
“Here’s our c.v. ; we’ve no wish to defraud :
He’s a good carpenter and I’m the Mother of God.”
No doubt. Well, your wee God seems not so happy.
He’s ponging, too. Why don’t you change his nappy ?
[At this point Joseph’s ass begins to bray.]
What’s wrong, boy ? What is it you want to say ?
You’re hungry, are you ? I’ll fetch you some hay.
You’ll make a lovely pet. The ass can stay.
But you three – bugger off back to Calais !

Robert Ilson