Imagine living in a strange, dark city for twenty years.
There are some dismal dwellings on the east side
and one of them is yours. On the landing, you hear
your foreign accent echo down the stairs. You think
in a language of your own and talk in theirs.
Then you are writing home. The voice in your head
recites the letter in a local dialect; behind that
is the sound of your mother singing to you,
all that time ago, and now you do not know
why your eyes are watering and what’s the word for this.
The full text of this poem doesn’t seem to appear on the usual free-access poetry collection sites, but you’ll find it on various blogs if you google the poet’s name and title. A very timely poem in these days of xenophobia.