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Umlauts and German Verbs

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Your student room
Could barely fit one but
We fit nicely.

In your repose
You fiddled with
German verbs

I lay propped up
Dizzy with sleep,
Your words hypnotic.

You translate a German
Text: The Difficulties in
Educating Immigrants.

Your brow, with its
Strong dark lashes,
Furrows.

I study your pen
As it wiggles black
And dots umlauts.

Your questions peal
Through hazy sleep
I cover my head in duvet.

The thick cloth book
Slaps as you flip, 
Finding meaning.

The staccato words form
an alien German landscape
as verbs and nouns splay:

Adjectives, adverbs, 
Gender seem placed 
Random like code.

You press me for answers
But I don't know your razor
Aryan tongue.

 

©1993 Chris Abraham