Learning to Yawn


She always said to cough

with your mouth closed.

Only open it to eat,

or to say something intelligent.

Not something that sounded intelligent,

but was intelligent.

She didn’t expect to hear

much from me,

only the sound of my chewing,

lips tightly shut.

But I surprised her

when she got older

and life wasn’t so clear

as the numbers on her ruler,

but mauve and pastel.

Behind her back

I’d learned to yawn, to grin,

to show my teeth.

Raud Kennedy

If you have any comments on this poem, Raud Kennedy would be pleased to hear them.

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