More Than What You See: The Process

The process to understand the words
is the problem, not the words themselves.
For the first ten years or more
of my life I hardly spoke a word.
Never fast enough for my
family, or others.

If I could talk in emotion and visions
then I could talk your limbic system off.
Instead, I sat back and watched.
Trying to learn to speak
these feelings inside me,
I knew them only at that level.

Watch and listen at school.
At the grocery store.
As my mother tells her stories
at the Wild Rose Moon Festival.
I would sit in the audience
and listen to the stories she told
and watch the people
walk around the festival
dressed in pioneer clothing…
and wearing comfortable sneakers.
I understood their behavior
better than their words
for the process was slow then.
Friends would greet me
and their verbalization would enter my ears.
turn into emotions, into visions,
which I translated to, “Hello, how are you?”.

My language is emotion.
It whirls around my torso up to my head
running through the visions and memorized terms.
My brain then places sensation and expression
together, hopefully in order and I say
“I’m doing okay.”

Heaven forbid they ask me to read aloud.
Whether it be words written by my hand
or by others, I still fear the stares
when I stammer or stall before a word.
It’s still the process to understand
that’s the problem.
not the words themselves.


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