Today's poem is by Lilah Hegnauer

Hut Hurt Hat Heart
(or Hut Hut Hut Hut)

When I wrote them on the blackboard
and said them aloud, a collective breath
was gathered by the class and they tried
to imitate me. They invoked the image of parrots

with something new to practice, and I was angry
with myself, I second-guessed this lesson;
it seems I'm always guessing: can I do this?
Is this right? If hurt is a hat, do I sin in telling them

another way? I love the fluid sounds and the tonal ok
I love the music of five and six syllable names
Turinaruhanga, Byalugaba, Ayebazibwe,
but I love them as novelty, not as the bone-

resonating Luzungu words that fill my mouth
in so many segments of hard and soft, of sanguine
presaging about rainfall and crop yield, of the
palliating pedant with questions she almost wishes

wouldn't rise. But they do because hurt and hat
go hand on head; they go walking together
to the tops of hills and fall painfully
bud over bird back down again. Hut and heart

boil porridge together in the mornings when the fog
hangs on the southern hills. They do, they do;
these two tongues twist like loosening
banana fibers in my attempts at weaving.

Copyright © 2005 Lilah Hegnauer All rights reserved
from Dark Under Kiganda Stars
Ausable Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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