Had We Met, I Imagine We’d Have Talked

by Zilka Joseph

                       till sun up, you who knew my language
would have understood my homeless heart
and how home lives in many tongues, cities, songs

                       maybe you would have sat me down at your
desk one day taught me my trade, its angels and its tigers
shown me how to navigate our new land’s rivers

                       you who know where I came from
would have told me where I was going, why I was here
and why our rooms would never be finished

                       perhaps you’d have been patient with me,
perhaps impatient been amused by my follies, but not my journeys
your star risen high, now pinned in the heavens

                       I like to believe we would have cooked
together and tasted and tested and tried each dish
fussed and fretted like two picky old women in the kitchen

                       who knows if you’d have liked my poems
but I am sure you would have made a space for me, a place
for me at your always overflowing table, and called me sister.