Anthony Thwaite


And when I landed in America, aged ten,
I knew the language was the same. And yet
At once the alien words confronted me
Like tests I must perform before I passed:
Gotten and cootie and the way they said
’erb, and the different gas, and turning on
The faucet. That first Christmas, presents wrapped
In something called excelsior, just bits
Of wood-shavings.

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