Two poems

Transitions №7

Author: Vlada Baronets


they beat me up
to bring me up
they bring me up
and beat me up

I count the windows
where there’s light
I count the windows
every night

if I can count
to twenty-one
I’ll run away
and live alone

one autumn night
I counted twelve
but only nine
on Christmas Eve

by end of winter
there were four
and three and two
and then no more

they left no light
but in the dark
there was a sigh
there was a spark

a sudden word
a breathing sound
I went I heard
I didn’t count


when you speak a foreign language
you are a different person

all the phone calls
all the bells ringing
this is not your home

every morning
you walk by Edinburgh Castle
not as a tourist or a refugee
but as one who belongs

on the way back
you go down Princes Street
or maybe the Canongate this time
to stop by Santu
for a hot chocolate

you live by the harbour
you have always lived here
and yet

you smell the sea
you hear the sea
and something else
you look in the cupboard
under the bed
behind the photos pinned to the wall
you asked the neighbours
who are these people in the photos
but they don’t know

maybe it’s the sea
and something beyond the sea
you would like to find out
or maybe not

your neighbours are very nice
they say your English is very nice
it sounds disturbing
they ask you if you like cold weather
but you can’t remember
what you like
and what happened to you
you asked your landlady
but she doesn’t know