Tongue Tied

Common Tongue

We all draw from the same pile,
Scoop up our words with practiced ease and
Feel them time-smoothed,
Ringing with the movement of other tongues.

They make such varied shapes;
Edging out patterns of the profound,
Or imprinting humble outlines in the receptive air
As they slide from our mouths.

The same simple tokens
Form speeches and shopping lists,
Create threats,
Lectures
And prayers.

I will curse you,
With the same constituent parts
From which another will compose my absolution.
We are all tied into it,

Bound willingly or not
With an equivalent exploitation
Of our mongrel mother tongue.

more by THOMAS W. EVANS

Photograph by Sascha Kohlmann

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