★ ★ ★ ★
Image by Jr Korpa
We pull the sun and rain into a noisy classroom,
sifting words for a connection you can draw.
I label your snowflake in English,
your Korean slashes grow with your confidence,
clouds, storms, a whirlwind filling the room.
You fight to remain in black and white,
juggling the rules, the boundaries,
but Finland, this school is muddied winter-gray.
Your frustration shreds worksheets,
breaks pencils and kicks chairs,
voicing what will not translate.
We define progress with sentences, marbles,
ticks and blanks, but it’s uncountable,
a drip-splashing collection
of days and lessons.
I sketch for you a bucket
as if it is enough to carry my meaning.
Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. Totems is to be published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2021. Her writing blog can be found at http://thistlewren.blogspot.fi/ and @grimalkingerry on Twitter.