A Poetry Reading

Joining the audience, their faces bright with anticipationimages3

Their smiles warm and genuine, their hellos welcoming and reassuring

Surrounded by those whom I regard as the experts, my smile in reply, gushes with respect.

I sit as the falling hush draws the focus to the performers

In the ensuing silence, the words begin to flow, filling the space.

Surveying the room, I see heads nodding in appreciation,

Accompanied by the ever present um…..

But I cannot make a connection with any of the words flowing over me.

It all sounds like a foreign language complete with musical accompaniment

The visual I struggle to create refuses to materialize,

The meaning of these verses refuse to make themselves clear,

Hiding instead within the folds of what was once were familiar words,

Now suddenly alien to my ears.

I have considered myself at home with language, a lifetime in the unveiling

But suddenly I’ve returned to that childhood moment

surrounded by a crowd of adults all apparently speaking in tongues.

If only I could listen more closely it would undoubtedly make sense,

If the intensity of my facial contortions could only translate,

I would surely understand.

My knowledge suddenly feels completely inadequate to the task.

Leaving me to flounder in a sea of self-doubt and swirling questions.

Would I have grasped it, once upon a time?

Has age simply caught up with me, or was I never as smart as I thought?

Maybe by tomorrow I will have forgotten it ever happened.

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