IMMIGRANT REFLECTION

featured in the poetry forum November 18, 2018  :: 0 comments

In my country
we only dressed for church
and let our privates dangle
otherwise. We studied
the webs of spiders, the
flight of swallows, the
whims of the wind.

We never learned much.
How to catch a fish.
How to dip in dance.
How to wait out the weather.

Back there we thought
that was enough. We
honored dogs, fed them first,
sprawled in the sun and tried
to howl in greeting.

We had some rules. People
brought things they’d found
to church and took other
things home. Sometimes
just a smooth rock or a flower
or a feather.

It was like touch chess here.
If you picked it up you had to
keep it and if you brought
it back the next week
people shook their heads.

But nobody would bite you,
not for that. I left before
I learned how we reproduced.
Maybe the same as here, dipping
and howling. I’m trying to
figure it out. What’s
different, what’s the same.

I’d go back. It doesn’t seem
right to wear jeans all day
scrunched on a sofa out of the sun.
I miss my dog. But I’ll
get over it. It’s part of the game.
I gave this girl a pebble
and she smiled.

editors note:

Custom can be consternation for newcomers. – mh clay