Background

York in Poetry: Not amerikan not english not tourist not local

Posted on 24 November 2012 | Audio, Poem

Gentrified square,
Georgian buildings,
medieval gates.
A naff brass band plays,
not badly to be honest.
And I soak up the wet but warm weather,
grateful on this shortest day my scarf
and gloves and coat really are too warm.

I live here.
Have done, near seven years,
but in 15 days I LIVE here,
for ever if I want;

and I can make political noise,
and vote,
and rouse the rabble with great intent:
a citizen, whatever that means.

I am the woman without a country,
an alien resident,
the not-quite-local,
the almost part of it;

no longer quite one with amerika neither,
whose gunfired jingoism
flagwaving hatreds drove me off irrevocably.

I sit and contemplate the Mansion House,
non tourist.

I am not from here.
I was once from there.
What can I say I am?

- Rose Drew