Learning – A Pantoum

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IMG_0091My grandson’s language skills have just begun
Henry picks up words to play with them
My father knows that words can be quite fun,
But, his mind just won’t cooperate with him.

Henry picks up words to play with them
Delighted, Henry counts out: one, two, three
But his mind just won’t cooperate with him
“Seven, fourteen, fir-teen, twenty-free”

Delighted, Henry counts out: one, two, three
A little child numbering the birds
“Seven, fourteen, fir-teen, twenty-free”
Now he grows confused by all these words.

A little child numbering the birds.
My father knows that words can be quite fun.
Now he grows confused by all these words
My grandson’s language skills have just begun

 

*****

A pantoum is a poem of interwoven lines.  The second and fourth line of each quatrain are repeated in the next quatrain as lines one and three.

Ideally, it’s witty or punny. This one is not.

I was thinking about the way our lives intertwine, especially across generations.

In “The House on Beartown Road” author Elizabeth Cohen said, “Daddy walks around, dropping pieces of language behind him, the baby following, picking them up.”

That image has stuck with me and comes to mind often as I’ve watched my father struggle to find words, while Henry is learning new words every day.

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One thought on “Learning – A Pantoum

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