Song of My Speech Impediment by Dawn Macdonald

Is a poem a song? I do

not hear the singing of it;

an intonation; there’s

a cockatoo that meows like a cat.

My poem is like that, a bird

talking another animal language.

An ancient tongue mired in peanut butter trying

the task of the clean-limbed Greeks;

orators in practice: rocks.

We also watched several times the video of

the barking cat, and

you told me then that cats don’t even

meow in cat-life; it’s a baby-talk they do

for humans, because we’re

calamitous kittens, lumbering madly and madly

in control of the kibble. To speak

to each other we imitate

each other’s imitations. You put

a hand to the back of my neck

and said, It stops hiccups. I leaned

in.

 


Copyright © Dawn Macdonald

Dawn Macdonald lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, where she was raised off the grid. She holds a degree in applied mathematics and used to know a lot about infinite series. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in FOLIO, Grain, Room, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Understorey, and Vallum.