Ex-patriot.

She finds the scale hard to accept,
used to neck-cricking skyscrapers,
the Big Apples’ wide streets,
noise that rumbles and squeaks
twenty-four seven.
Evening silence of an English country town
fills her ears like water, unable to be shaken out.
Gloucester cadences pour treacle-thick 
against her vowels,
wash against them like a lazy tide
that shifts and swells, so she listens hard,
wants nothing lost in translation.
Limey politeness bemuses her
as does reserve that feels hard as a wall
until it is cracked.
She returns stateside now and then,
takes sustaining bites of her home town.
Adjusts to her move from culture zones
during a long polyglot flight.
Settles back here into a slow pace.
Is glad to have been adopted.
by Miki Byrne