I am washing wet clothes cast off by refugees who crossed the Sea of Death, the new name for channel only 4 nautical miles wide that separates Turkey and Lesbos. A tiny pink long-sleeved shirt with a boat neck, for a girl, size 3 months. The channel was relatively safe in the spring and summer, even though people were pushed into black rubber dinghies wearing illegal life jackets that would not float. A pair of leggings with feet, grey with pink, orange, brown, white, and blue polka-dots, to be worn over diapers. North winds have made the journey treacherous.
I am not on the front lines, pulling wet children alive and dead from the sea. I think my heart would break. Tiny black stretch pants with nylon sequined bows at the knees, size 2 years. My friends were in the harbor when an overcrowded fishing boat collapsed, throwing 300 people…
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