There were 65 people on the boat.
The smuggler gestured to a mountain,
There is Greece, he said.

The water fell around us like walls.
The motor stopped.
There were many kids on the boat.
It capsized.

I can’t swim.

I stayed under water for two minutes,
The red vest pulled me to the surface.
I was terribly afraid.

It was
Very cold.
Everybody screamed. Me too. There was a child in front of me.

I consoled him.
You don’t have to cry, but I knew better.

A mother sank before my eyes,
Her child in her arms.
Two hours, then the boat came to rescue us.
Twenty people survived.
All of the small children were dead.

One boy, he was my age,
Sat next to me in the rescue boat.
He screamed and screamed
»Mother, Mother!«
I asked him, why are you crying?

He said that his whole family, seven people,
Had died.
I wondered, who would have told my parents
If I had drowned in the sea?
I am the only son.

Doctors were waiting.
My legs couldn’t support me.
They recovered only eight of the dead.
We survivors went to the hospital.

Eight days and eight nights I slept,
And each day in the hospital passed before me like a year.

When I left Turkey I had 100 dollars.
They were lost in the water.

On the 20th day I called home.

My mother said, »Why didn’t you call?
I haven’t eaten in three days out of worry!«
I told her that I arrived safely,
But simply hadn’t had the money to call.

How could I tell her
that for 10 days, I could only drink hot chocolate,
because my body was so full of salt water? 

This poem won an award.