Mothertongue | Teen Ink


March 8, 2012
By Afanen PLATINUM, Santa Rosa, California
Afanen PLATINUM, Santa Rosa, California
49 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"But you see, Meg, just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist."

- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

No titanium, no gasoline, no telephones.
No genetics, no Gatling guns;
only falling water, sheep, sunset colours.
Only that in this language.

In this language only the colour of a salmon’s gills,
the love for one more than family but not kin,
no skyscrapers, no torches, nothing of tempered steel
but a sword and a fishhook.

It’s a language of ladies of the lake,
of the fae and of the marsh dwellers,
grey kings and white and red dragons,
the sound of hounds at the bottom of a gully
too deep to see the bottom.

The woman of flowers whispers it to you in your sleep,
in the owl wings beyond the window.
It’s the language of the weathered faces of the high moors,
the rough hands of the herring hunters.

It’s not a language for pretty things
with cocktail glasses, it’s for the heartbreaking beauty
of a woman wronged, of a fire beyond the wind,
telling secrets harsh as the Yr Wyddfa snows.

This language slides, like a descant,
from gender to gender, time to time,
turning vowels into loam,
cutting the peat of the consonants to the
emerald quag and mire of the
mothertongue, fathertongue.

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