Half-spoken

There are voices on the wind outside,

Calling to you in languages of origin,

Swept through antipodeal forests,

In sworls of atonal cries

Indecipherable utterances.

It is not the muffled

conversation

from another room,

Impersonal, unaddressed.

It is a distant relative twice removed

on a failing faint telephone line.

Or a woman that looks like your aunt,

Approaching you on the street for directions,

And you have to confess–

You’ve never learnt the mother tongue.

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