Lunch at St. John’s College
The sight of the camellia,
already blooming—too early,
caught me by surprise.
Not because of its early flowers,
(though I wonder that the frost last night didn’t kill them)
but because it reminded me of home,
here, where I thought to find no reminder
here, in this country that is not mine.
And now I sit
here, on this bench,
with friends that are not mine,
but have lent me their companionship
here, in this country that is not mine—nor theirs.
And we three aliens,
we strangers in a strange land
here, where they speak a language that is like mine,
but is not mine
here, we sit. Silent. Still.
And for once,
in this quiet
here, by the camellia
here, I think, maybe this land
can be mine.
Then, a friend who is not mine,
Thoughtfully takes a bite of her sandwich.
Chews, swallows, and says,
“That was delicious”.