Saturday, December 24, 2005

the immigrant - poem by wole oguntokun

I’m trying to lose this accent
trying to blend into my surroundings
like insignificant wallpaper
I’m trying to smile when you laugh at my mistakes.
Trying to be a good sport.

I’m trying to appreciate John Keats
and William Butler Yeats
I’m trying to put up a jolly good show
I’m trying to sit in this blood-red bus
and act as if I know this city
and I’m trying to look inconspicuous.

I’m trying to be dismayed
when you catch a corrupt official
Trying to forget
he’d be a lord in my land
Trying not to think of those I left behind
Trying to forget
how I almost didn’t make it out.

I’m trying to be you, curse this clumsy tongue.

© Wole Oguntokun

*The Immigrant is reproduced by permission

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