Learning the Language: Poems One and Two

*I decided to try another form of poetry unfamiliar to me for today’s prompt to write about the language of my youth. Parallelogram de Crystalline is a poetry form which consists of 4 verses of 3 lines each. The syllable count for each stanza is 3, 6, 9 and was created by Karan Naidu. I added the extra challenge of beginning each with an “ly” adverb. I wrote two but these won’t earn me a Pulitzer.My topic stems from my moving to Minnesota from Ohio and not understanding what people were saying because of the differences in how we talked. I often think it was the kernel that began my desire to be an English teacher.

Learning the Language: Poems One and Two

Poem One:

the menu said “hot dish”
and my young mind whirled with those two words.

it searched for good answers
Yikes! What could a “hot dish” ever be?

I pictured my school lunch
served on a steaming plate so “match hot”

Fingers seared to the sides.
In Ohio we’d said, “casserole.”

Poem Two

the boy said, “Borrow me
a piece of some clean notebook paper.”

I tried to understand
my classmate’s so curious command.

I turned to another
to ask for the requested paper.

I saw the future me.
I will teach Minnesotans the rules!

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Kathleen Karason Dorholt's photo.
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