A foreign language

When I became a foreigner
I began to learn the language of smiling
how eyebrows can flag up problems
marvelling at the number of punctuation marks
which can be sewn in the furrows of foreheads
in the shadows of hair
hidden under hats

I learned to listen with my eyes
feeling safe in the silent spaces between the storms of conjugations
which rage between the historic past and future conditional

And when the din of consonants swimming in the salt sea spray of silent “h”’s
threatens to drown the word
I am a foreigner again
adjusting the volume with a tilt of the head
learning to speak with a gentle touch of the hand

4 thoughts on “A foreign language

  1. Diana Sanders

    I love the humour in this and the sense of connection. Do you need the last two lines of the first stanza though and would when I became a foreigner I learnt the language of smiling be more succinct?
    I like the way you don’t use any punctuation. It gives the idea of moving out of language. Maybe you could go further with that with use of capitals etc.

    Anyway, I love it. Happy New Year, Sarah!

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