Library Archives

Voices of the Invisible

I don’t’ like it here, she says
I don’t speak the language.

But there are many places you could go, I said,
To make friends with others like you.

Please don’t laugh at me,
I don’t even know how to take the bus.
I can’t read the names of the stops,
And I don’t know when to pull the bell.

When I go somewhere,
I have to count the number of stops.
But buses here are strange,
They don’t stop at every stop.
When I miscount,
I get off at the wrong place,
And get lost.

And oh, how I dread the long winters here,
When it rains day in and day out.
I stay home,
Staring out the window,
Listening to raindrops beating on the roof,
And talking to raccoons.
Yeah, I learned to talk to myself.
People ask me, “How come you keep talking to yourself?”
“Well, l learned to do this in Canada,
Because this is the only thing I can do.”

I don’t like it here,
I wish I could run away.
I am too old to learn the language,
People laugh at me when I try,
Now I am a prisoner of my mother tongue.

What am I supposed to do,
An old woman like me?
Scared, ashamed, desperate,
More than ever in my life.
What shall I do? What could I do?
I can’t go back,
And yet I don’t belong here.
Tell me please,
Is there a place in between?