Lingua Franca

“Parlez-vous anglais?”

The water they speak runs over my ears
So fast I hear white from the words I must fear
For how can I live next to women and men
Who can change my life when I don’t understand?

Every day I go out, step into the sound
That manages to cover my head and surround
Every day trying to keep up again
With a people and world I hope I understand

I know I am strong in heart and mind too
My life has highs and lows same as you
But my heart and mind are locked until when
I know how to tell you so you understand

And if that time ever comes to us then
Maybe we’ll listen, we would understand
For now, though, except for one time out of ten
The words are just water I can’t understand

This poem was written using the Up-Goer Five Text Editor, which only lets you use the ten hundred most common English words.

Part of Poem-a-Day 2014. Title donated by John W.