In transit



with a trunkful of history inside you  

readied for the always questions of why

and what and how while the guard sits

like a checkpoint at the locked gate

to the hard-fenced field of words


as you struggle to blacken

the blanks on the dotted line,

fearing the shadow behind his

“where you from?” smile and touch

while his mates eye gender and dress


and judge your way of saying “I”

as if origin lies in the curve of face

or faults of the tongue and eye

before opening a hand, an ear or heart

or instead some knuckle-fisted rant,


yet you unlock the skin you hide in

to lay yourself out for their vetting

with the always hope of maybe

just maybe this time

your feet will root in another place



“In transit” by Greta Ross won second price in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick.


A retired doctor, Greta has been writing poems as long as she can remember. Born in Australia, she now lives in England and is a member of the Canterbury writing group SaveAs. Greta has published a first collection ‘Facts of Life’ as well as poems online and in anthologies. Her poems incline towards the political, but she tries to avoid being judgmental. She is married, and both she and her husband continue to enjoy exploring different cultures. Perhaps if science enables humans to live to 150 she might succeed in getting through all the still unread books on her bookshelf.