Why? We don’t know you, though we hear
the rapid knocking of your voice through the wall,
and see you walking silently up the High Road
ushering a gaggle of grandchildren before you,
Maharani on an elephant swaying through the jungle.
Sometimes, you even raise an enigmatic smile,
then carry on, your tumeric yellow sari swinging
beneath a three-quarter-length grey raincoat.
And then, one day, for no reason, a guttural eh eh eh
and your hand over the trellis with a margarine tub
and a warm plastic bag. This first, then more,
white grub-shaped things, sweetmeats, grey-green sauces
that taste hot-cold, sweet-sour, spicy-dry, so many
tastes outside the language of our mouths. Now
to explain this: our reciprocation, banana-bread
taken with a look of utter, utter bewilderment.