One Of Them

 

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One of them

    They say, 'You fit in,

You are fair,

Why don't you go and live there?

You are one of them.'


Yes I am one of them

Pickled herring on black bread

Black pudding, forest berries

Red shoes,red hem

Bogs and spirits

Songs with melancholy lyrics

Tales that cut me deep

And make me weep

I could live there.


I am but a visitor.

Every time the plane lands

All looks fair

I feel like one of them.

Yet I do not share their story

Of war,occupation, fear.

I have not lived there.


It died once,

All was grey,

An empire of blood stormed and took it.

But 'There' has been revived

Been repainted

Peace in its walls, sky again blue,

Made new.

Yet a stranger has lived in this house

While I could not

I see it in the dew.


'There' was the ancestors' birthplace

Various lives lived, passed,

I have just chanced in passing.


'There' had been a shadow of a parting,

Of no return

But I am in no hurry.

I have sat with those left 

Heard of talk and laughter

Truths return in and out of favour

Will I cling to them, dwell on it, covet it?

It catches my breath

For I was not there.


My life took a parallel road

That plies a different route.

I shall never want to take the other road

For it is criss-crossed with shadows.

There is no gilded frame

In which to hang my picture.

I am, and yet I am not, one of them.

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