Work with me on my accent
With a desperate plea of humid eyes With a body that could hold no more ‘Help me with my speech’ - she said to me. ‘I just giggle I cannot speak In my meetings My throat feels sore I must stop false-believing. I must let it go.’ And so we practised Long and short vowels Fox and forks Don and Dawn Ship and sheep Mill and meal Hill and heel Give and receive And we found pleasure in repeating the sounds And making our lips and faces go in new directions There was a joy there Discovery of sorts: The sounds cannot be managed With texts just read alone. And it surprised me That I was needed there That teacher was required To bring out what was there The beauty The smile The voice So calmly found As if it was my task To make it hers But no longer home-bound. To stop her saboteur. To let her tongue become A serene interpreter. Because she had gifts to share And no more time to spare. And then we talked And we were honest That no amount of practice Will make us feel at ease For English was at times Almost like Japanese So different And so odd Don’t mind me saying so Exotic is beautiful Exotic is good But I am blushing at my meetings Because I don’t know the rule I know I know Time to transfer. Time to concur. We’re leaving fears behind. Without the time to spare. Let’s just do the work. Let’s be creative. Accent is not an obstacle To remain emancipated. It’s the work that counts. Speech will follow its commands.