GermanyPoemsZoё Matt-Williams

Familiar Stranger

Zoё Matt-Williams

Berlin, Germany


blurry, half-sleep thoughts of a plane landing
and the scream of rubber on hot cement
streetsides lined in towering McDonalds signs
and my grandmother, ant-like between them

the schoolbus yellow – too bright
my cousin’s smile – four years old, but new to me
the alien before-dinner prayer (I don’t know the words)
threats of mouths washed out with soap
and then the leaving.


Zoё Matt-Williams (18)

grew up bilingually in Berlin with a German mother and American father. She rarely gets the chance to visit her US family. Zoё attended the international John F. Kennedy School in Berlin and now studies English literature at the University of Cambridge.