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Source: Adults

Author: Chris Walker

Title: A New Language

A New Language

Swimming in clear-coloured sun-warmed sea not my own

I passed a surface shoal of tiny fish,

and as I turned from curling wave foam, gasping for breath,

I swallowed one.

Small cool presence back of throat, quicksilver squirm and down!

And now, though I think and write my old familiar tongue of much loved words

when I speak I am dismayed by a voice, not mine.

An accent, foreign.

Phrases, unfamiliar.

I have become, other.

Perhaps eastern european?

Salt-edged, wind-worn, harsh and weather battling.

In private my words are as ever they were

but in speech I stumble, backtrack, falter and am lost as my voice betrays me.

I have to think in my own language and then haltingly, painfully translate, involuntarily.

I open my mouth unsure of what will come out

but hope, soon, it will be a tiny silver fish.

Published on writebuzz®: Adults > Poetry

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