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Our language is in triplicate:
Like those old accounting notebooks
With different coloured pages
Nestled one on top of the other
Over and over again;
A concertina, geological time on a rockface, a lei.
The writing looks different each time:
Dark pen on top layer
Clear copy next
And finally, underneath, a scratched barely-legible pattern
Readable only if you know what you’re looking for,
More faith and hope than ink.
Frustrated with the chore of reading
I argue first and second layers are adequate:
Two languages are more than enough to teach our children;
You gently urge me to persevere
Not directly, but by your own focused study of letters barely there,
Knowing – so I realise – that in faint outlines and mere impressions
You’ll find the heart of me.