Their mouths moved rapidly, words came in melodic rivers that drowned my ears. I was just getting the hang of this. I was beginning to comprehend. I was almost done climbing over the Tower of Babel.

I was so close to breaking that language barrier.

For now, I merely conquered the heights of a kitchen stool as my mom fixed dinner. With my English textbook in hand, I would find large words that I don’t know.

I took a deep breath, as though to begin a recital, “Hey mom, does this sound right? ‘Uh-pi-phony (epiphany)’ ”

“Can you say that again?” My mom’s eyes remained fixed upon the toast recipes that she was studying.


“Is that end sound even supposed to go up like that?”

“No, that’s because it’s posed as a question, mom…”

So, I read and read and read and read. Then I copied lines that I liked, things that sounded nice. Eventually I wrote stories with those lines, swapping words with other words.

Maybe one day, just maybe, I will be able to talk in rivers, too, and I will be pulling those whose ears are drowning into safety.


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