Mother Tongue – by Andi Myles

She spoke in shades of silence as if to say,
“None of us have figured this out.”
Her wordless tunes the buzz of a
forgotten fly under a cup.

We cannot help but wear our age the way our parents did.
I don her hands as softened gloves,
despising the inherited garments,
looping her years like a noose around my neck.

Perhaps, when I am old—old like her, not old like me—
shuffling around on the same bloated brick feet,
I, too, will misplace my tongue
speaking only in colors and breath and touch.

I hope my grandchildren will be wise
enough to translate the sound of sandpaper fingers on hair
and the scent of blood-tinged chicken feathers
dropping wetly to the floor.


Andi Myles is a Washington DC area science writer by day, poet in the in between times. Her favorite space is the fine line between essay and poetry. Her work has appeared in Tahoma Literary Review, Alligator Juniper, and Beyond Words, among others.