English Lesson, Verbs

We lived in Syria. People were fighting
and we could not stay. We came
to Scotland. We left
our son behind. We cried.
The strange syllables clang like bells,
itemise our sorrows, iterate them.

The past is not finished, it lives
in every awakening in this house
of unfamiliar brick we try to call home,
in this land of smiles and rain, where
the sun does not keep its promises.
Our sun was never like this.
We try to stay in the present. We go
to English classes, we walk
to the shops. In our dreams we taste
falafel and dates. We hope
to return to the time before. We know
that we canít.
We do not have the tenses we need.

This should never have happened.
It might have been different.
What will become of us?

Jane Pearn

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Jane Pearn  would be pleased to hear them.