Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pronunciation and Peace

I'm supposed to be helping my neighbor learn to pronounce English;
For universal pronunciations of any language, we can only wish.
I have a workbook of everyday polite, conversations that are boring,
But our sharing of bawdy stories has sent her understanding soaring.

We both share grandma wisdom, in which our lives are full.
We laugh as much as we converse; earthy stories are universal.
She took English at several churches and was usually quite bored;
Apparently they didn't know how new memories are truly stored.

When I tutored a child of seven, my teacher-daughter said to me,
"Teach this child familiar words that he can plainly see."
This second-grade child resonated to his own family's names;
So, for my new student, I'm doing the adult version of the same.

She came over full of sadness and worry for her country;
The president had died, leaving her people leader free.
I spent the first half hour commiserating in her pain;
By the time she went home, she was laughing again.

She's a respected doctor of law in her homeland;
Here, only her husband, can she talk to as a friend.
Though she is younger than I am by thirteen years,
Naughty Catholic girl stories bring us both to tears.

She talks of her many experiences in her international world;
During these rowdy exercises, her English sentences unfurl.
We are now at the point where I want her to teach dancing
To my friends who will, her culture, enjoy understanding.

Multicultural communication can be accomplished in ways
That, through universal language of laughter, has all of us engaged.
Is there any one of us without a old naughty relation's stories
That will cross over any race, religion, or language boundaries?

Dance, sing, laugh, cry, touch; there is always a way
To get across, with emotion, what we really want to say.
And, if we are willing to be mutually vulnerable,
We'll create a world that is, in peace on earth, full.