portsmouth poetry 

From A Borrowed Biro

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

the elimination

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