We speak too fast.
The child sits at our table, waiting
his turn. The clock
points a sharp finger. The daily
too hot to eat. Between
words the child thrashes/-/-/--
takes a deep breath.
That high voice -- all clumsy fingers --
the shoelace fast enough. The master
of the house
is counting. The hurt
over and over, blunt needle picking
at an old
Years ago in a high chair
he drummed wet fists, his face
a knot: Give me
words. The fury
beat in his throat. Mother and father,
we put words in his mouth, we
speak harder, faster, we give him
a life to chew on.
by Chana Bloch