Indefinite Leave to Remain

iPhone photo, Hipstamatic app (photo by author)

displaced and out of place
for years I was lost
in the rush hour crowd of
King’s Cross Station
tongue-tied with words
in the same language but
a dialect whose defences
I never could break through

the same but different
separated by an ocean my people
fought to cross

death by a thousand cuts
on the edge of a paper my people
fought to sign

the red coat didn’t fit me
but I tried to finess my way into normal
over cups of tea, pints, and long vodkas

I embraced everything willing
to accept a hug with two kisses,
mother tongue in cheek

in the end I was still the sore thumb,
betrayed by a colloquial I didn’t
want to leave behind
well-loved, kindly regarded
but forever and always
a homesick stranger


I wrote this poem recently for a magazine submission. . . . and was soundly rejected but hey that means now I can share it with you! Once upon a time, I moved to England. In my own way, I was an immigrant, albeit temporarily. It wasn’t easy. Thank you for reading!

(I would have shared a photo from my time in the UK but all those negative scans are still locked in my defunct hard drive. So instead I used a phone photo of travel in other times, other places.)

Published by amyjasek

Film photographer, mother, positively passionate about life in general, Texan : )

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