What to Do During Lockdown

#7. Teach yourself a language – USA Today

First, I’ll try the near-dead language
of laid-back. I’ll toss out rush and gotta dash
and learn new words like listen, hushed.
Astonish my husband when I no longer nag;
trade hurry up! and we’ll be late! 
for cozy and slow and quiet.  

Next I’ll go nonverbal—the primitive tones
of my teenage son. I’ll greet the creature, show
I’m not a threat with homemade pizza, 
extra meat. Then start a deeper conversation
with a song that just dropped. Philosophize
with heads nodding, toes tapping, fist bumps… 

Then I’ll relearn my native tongue—
the vocals of play. I’ll sing of itsy spiders,
rosie rings. Ropes will slap cement
and swings creak on their metal chains,
faster and faster. But most of all I’ll laugh
Alongside my wisest teacher: my daughter.

And when I’ve practiced the language
of all in my embrace, I’ll speak
to myself.  Say: you can do it
with a stroll in the sun’s warm rays; reply
I will with pen’s continued scratch.
Each day I’ll talk to me and promise

I’ll walk a little further; write 
a little more; and always listen

Amy Wray Irish is a poet living in Lakewood.