OK, last poem for a while, I promise. I will be back with some prose and some reviews or discussions of writerly influences next week.
Almost immediately after I write that, I ask myself: why do I feel apologetic about writing ‘only’ poems? I am not implying that writing poems is the easy or lesser option. Just that, in my case, it is very often compensation activity for not finishing that b***** novel. Come on, lass, only 2 chapters to go (or so I believe).
Anyway, this poem is about the challenges of a normally chatty, even glib person becoming tongue-tied in a new country with a language she only half-speaks. Yep, this time it is personal!
is walking away and not toward me,
Always almost, but never quite there.
Haunted by failure, aware of the dangers,
I navigate, anxious, between the extremes.
All blandness in word choice,
accents raining in all directions,
avoiding the telephone for fear of rapid riposte.
My jokes are more plodding,
some meaning eludes me.
I snigger along even when I am lost.
Distracted by how I pronounce the word ‘pain’,
the baker hands me the wrong kind of bread.
I think I’ll stick to baguette in future.