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This poem is taken from PN Review 246, Volume 45 Number 4, March - April 2019.


Poems from Tenderfoot
Chris Beckett
Inglizawi negn!

Sometimes he stands on the balcony in his blue pyjamas
and sees it through the eucalyptus trees

slips out when day is lapping at the dark
and stands there looking over garden gates and walls

over tin roofs clicking in their own shadows  
down a track that wanders into the evening

out towards the faintly green distance of hills that is so lovely   
already stirring with bats and the idea of pumas  

he can hear bells and bits of conversation   someone far away
banging a nail   knows himself to be small and foreign

standing on the balcony of a big quiet house
that holds him up   holding him like a hand under his feet

but never feels unwelcome in the semi-dark…
if someone hails him from the track he will call back Selam!

if someone asks   where are you from, little boy?

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