age teaches us to speak life
as children we need translators
some of learn more quickly
some just know it’s body language
capturing mostly just the gist
there were times when mom was surprised
my vocabulary had grown past my grade
regurgitating lessons others had passed on
the discourse of life is diverse throughout
sometimes we forget words and switch languages
picking a comfortable drawl
I’ve stuttered on purpose at times, falling back
still, we study and we try to grow our words
learning nuances from foreign corners
curling our tongues to contorted depths
gradually becoming internationally well spoken
but always keeping that hometown speak
reminding us of who we are


8 Responses to “lifespeak”

  1. I’ve been trying to pop in all day and see what you were up to. So glad I didn’t miss this one! And your so right: No matter how far or wide we roam, we always keep that “hometown speak” and it is indeed a part of who we are. Wonderfully creative piece here Vic!

  2. Well I do. It’s very profound – I’m not sure how you thought of it, but let me tell you as a “Southron”, it is so true! Lol..

    And I believe it’s true for all cultures. It is about home, and who we are and where we came from – and it really does always go with us. And you have done a very fine job of explaining it :-).

  3. I love how you tie our paths to language to our paths of life. I especially loved how you started small, broadened the vocabulary to foreign languages back to language being representative of more than meaning…it’s representative of us as people.

    • Vic said

      Thanks. Growing up, everyone always praised multilingual abilities. To me what impressed me was the ability to see life and work with it. “Speak to the occasion” or understand life. That’s what I was thinking on that sparked this piece. Appreciate your comment. 🙂

  4. Uncle Tree said

    Hello, Vic!
    I told you I’d stop by, so here I am.
    Nice to meet you! Hope your Fridays going well.

    Speaking English is all I know how to do.
    I’m not really ashamed of that fact, but sometimes
    I do wonder what I missed out on.

    When I go back home to a small town in Missouri,
    I can easily pick up the southern style of yapping
    once again. It’s actually part of the fun,
    as far as visiting goes.

    I’ve never been to New York. Is that saying a lot?

    • Vic said

      Well Uncle Tree, first since I love my city wholeheartedly, please remedy your distance from the world’s capital posthaste!

      Thank you for stopping by and reading some of my latest scribbles!

      I’ve gotten a great response from this poem. It seems that most people can relate, whether it’s a “gumbah” from Brooklyn to a Southern Beau, each have their ways of speaking and of thinking on life. I think that was mostly what I was trying to get across.

      Thanks for your comments and come back soon!

  5. Life sidenote: we just talked about this kind of thing (though far less poetically) in the language + identity course I’m taking. Eerie.

    But also, I agree with the sentiment… always be proud of what and how you speak, however much of a linguistic chameleon you might be. (Loved the phrase “that hometown speak”.)

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