Hayley Green NEAT14

15 May

First draft of NEAT14 Poem. Unsure where I’m going with it :/ Any help is appreciated.


You and I are dictionaries

I English

You German

We sit together in a living room

Hoping it’s just enough

that the edges of our pages touch.


I still don’t know what happened

But I know, after the 30 minute discussion

That neither the door, nor the window, did it


You try to teach me to “roll your vowels like this”

But my lips sting at the thought of tasting something new

My tongue spits at yours in an English accent

I tell you your letters hurt my teeth

And stab at my gums

You tell me my ears are scissors

Cutting off flower stems like umbilical chords

And forgetting where the petals came from


I asked you what language you dreamt in

Because my mind couldn’t understand

That my voice was foreign.

When you told me you’d dreamt in English for the first time

You celebrated it like a birthday

And I realised I was still trapped inside a womb

hearing sounds through a water balloon

so I hope you can still dream in German

So when you go home

You can understand your heart


You were the first border I stepped over

Realising ignorance was my first language

When you told me,

“when speaking to the German man in Nottingham,

I heard why you say my tone is harsh”

I’m sorry

I didn’t mean for you to fall out of love with your language

I never meant to snap your piano keys

Maybe the door, or the window made me do it


Maybe we shouldn’t have taught you the word steal

It became your favourite

You stole  Johnny Cash

Because you thought he was Elvis

And bananas

Because you thought they were free


I’ll never understand why you have 2 Christmas days

Or why you tell the time like yoda

But you taught me more words in English than German

So I learnt to say them back to you







One Response to “Hayley Green NEAT14”

  1. louisemattjohn May 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Stunning. Absolutely bloody lovely 🙂

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