Tangerine

My parents tell me of the spring
they arrived in this Reino Unido, luggage filled
with October clothes:
shorts, sandals, remeritas, trawling behind them
two children, the potentiality of new lives weighing heavy
stuffed between the shampoo and the extra pairs of underwear.

 

They had expected warmth, like the heat beating down
on porteño summers
a stupor of music and movement,
the smell of tangerines peeled by university students
fermenting in the humid air of the Once line back to Moreno.

 

Instead, they found a country still bleak and cold in May, a cold
that makes a silent home deep in your bones
as if the city’s fingers were spun from slowly melting frost
struggling to keep its grip on the winter months.

 

Whilst touristing in London, my dad was forced to buy a sweater at Gap –
£40, the most expensive he’d ever bought. 80 pesos!
       (Remember when the price of a sweater
       could be counted in two digits? Hah!)
An unimaginable price for warmth, a luxury
so readily available even in the autumn they left behind.

 

This is the way Great Britain welcomes you:
biting cold.