‘Citizenship Ceremony’ by Caroline Smith

Citizenship Ceremony

Every few months a timetable clash
means the Citizenship Ceremony
and the asylum surgery converge.
From outside the council chamber,
as each new citizen is made,
we can hear the patter of applause.
It is rain to parched, thirsty soil –
every head turns and lifts
towards the sound.
(from The Immigration Handbook, Seren 2016)
Caroline Smith, works as a refugee caseworker. She has been widely published in poetry journals (including Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Stand Magazine, Agenda and Orbis) and she has given readings at many venues (including Barnard College in New York, the Sudbury Arts Festival, The Troubadour and Dove Cottage, Grasmere for the Wordsworth Trust). Her first publication was the long narrative poem Edith published by Flambard Press. Her debut collection Thistles of the Hesperides was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Festival First Collection prize. Her most recent book is The Immigration Handbook Seren, 2016. Twitter @csmithpoet