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Strawberry Thief

By Dean Atta

William Morris curtains  

surround the dining table

nested in the bay window.

These thrushes never able 

to reach the strawberries. 


Maybe they’re waiting 

for someone to wish them 

bon appetit, as we do 

with each other. Neither of us 

French, but we don’t say 

the equivalent in Greek, 

Jamaican patois or Italian. 


We’re two Englishmen 

in Scotland. Tonight we eat 

Shepherd’s Pie. You’ve made it 

for me for the first time. 

It’s my comfort food,

reminds me of home-home. 


My mother’s home 

in London. In my family, we call 

the living room the ‘sala’ 

even though the Greek is ‘salóni’. 

Village Greek, she tells me. 


She is alone in her sala. 

Her daughter and granddaughters 

nearby, but unable to visit. 

Me, here, in Glasgow.

The rest of her family 

in Cyprus and Switzerland. 


You don’t miss your family, 

you admit to me. 

Your Shepherd’s Pie 

is better than my mother’s, 

I admit to you. 

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