Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb

01 Aug 2013 7:56 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

I am new here.

Who am I now?

Where do I fit?

Not with the blonde mothers with buggies

and toddlers,

grandparents in tow.

Not with the clean-shaven men,

passes on blue lanyards

tucked into top pockets.

Not with the freshly-wed,

brightly starting expat life

with a Club-Med posting.

How do they see me here?

The criss-crossed creases on my neck

show I am between worlds;

a decade since proud granny

clutched my toddler’s pudgy hand.

Too old and too young

for the sanctuary

of the shaded shallow pool,

letting my brown legs dangle in the cool,

blowing up arm bands

rubber rings.

I wear my empty nest

like facial hair –

with embarrassment.

I bow my head,

stare at my feet,

see only the cracks in the pavement.

Where is my community?

Where will they not see my age?

Where will I not feel out of place,

in the wrong year at school?

If I am to be a sore thumb

then tell me where I’ll find my salve.

Might it be beside the mud-blue sea,

where six stripes of breakers

fold and froth cream claws

towards a latte shore?

And then a soft breeze whips teen tendrils

against my lips.

Palm trees beckon with lithe fingers,

hearts’ tongues nod

because they know

as do I, that

my soul finds friendship with the trees,

the cicadas’ hum,

the mystery of the surf,

rough sand between my toes

and in the smiles of strangers.

FIGT regular, Jo Parfitt, is a poet and publisher who has lived overseas for 25 years now. Earlier this year she joined her husband on a three month assignment in Brunei. This was their first time without children, as theirs are now at university and in Brunei Jo found answers, solace and an outlet for her creativity in writing a blog called Briefly Brunei. The poem below is one of her first entries and will resonate with anyone who has been new in town.


  • 22 Aug 2013 10:41 PM | Veronica Murphy
    Truly lovely,

    i remember you so well form the FIGT in Alexandria in 2012

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