Saturday, November 10, 2012

Poeming: Myopica

(tongue in cheek in)


a hundred years ago in a high school language

class I had a teacher with one squiggy eye who

always caught me passing notes because I could-

n’t tell where she was looking and I don’t know if

it’s that I was passing notes and not paying atten-

tion but all I can really remember is the dialogue

we learned by rote, “Gooten tog, Louisa, vee gates”

and “ooh aye leh biblioteck” or wait that second one

might be French because I also took a French class

from a lady I don’t remember at all, guess she didn’t

have a squiggy eye and all I remember from that

class was the dialogue we learned by rote, so it all

runs together or I don’t know maybe I was passing

notes in that class too. At any rate, I try to avoid

speaking foreign languages because people tend

to laugh at the very American way I say things

though even across the country here in America I

can’t understand my Southern cousin on the phone

because her English is not my English and I get

all flustered when I try to sort out all the extra vowels

and syllables we don’t use here in California be-

cause she might as well be saying “Gooten tog,

Louisa, vee gates, ooh aye leh biblioteck?” for as

well as I can understand her, and then there’s the

Queen’s English my British son in-law speaks

and really when he was first dating my daughter

and I’d talk to him on the phone I’d just be all “uh

huh! and oh?” at hopefully appropriate times be-

cause honestly it didn’t sound like any “English”

I’d ever heard and then I have another son-in-law

from Mexico and he laughs when I say the names

of the Mexican foods I eat like ONchiladas or kaysa-

deeyas or the “con kaysah” cheese I put on my tortil-

la chips (and don’t even get me started on the word

‘tortilla’) and then I learned to say “shee shee” to the

Chinese man who gave me a massage because it

means Thank you but then I giggled and kind of ru-

ined the moment so mostly I stick to gesturing and

just try to avoid the whole thing because everybody

should just learn to speak American, shouldn’t they?

jle 2012

Written for the PAD over at Poetic Asides for the prompt to write a poem with a foreign word or phrase. :-)

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