Teaching English at Friendship House
Although he came from the mountains
(this much I learnt)
he didn't understand my words for snow
I fluttered my fingers
in front of him
but he only saw the wings of birds.
I led him to the window
wrapped myself in my arms
at the shivering sky but he only stared.
It was slow and involved
of sun, wind and rain but we got there.
Sometimes I think of him
back at the border
I imagine his mountains their fingers of shadow
the stutter of gunfire
the quietness of snow
Copyright Maggie Sawkins
This poem is by local poet Maggie Sawkins, winner of 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
She is the founder of Tongues & Grooves in the Community and runs creative writing projects in and around Portsmouth.
The poem from Maggie's collection "The Zig Zag Woman" published by Two Ravens Press investigates the complexity of language and outlines the loss and pity of forced exile
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