They say language is a window,
Through which one’s culture is conferred.
As if ramrod grammar formed the frames
And the glass panes are built of words.
But the window my father passed down
Carries the sepia tone of age ;
The sounds someone uttered long ago
Written on a torn-out page.
The light can pass through no more,
The cracks soon widen and spread.
The world beyond seems a distant echo,
Its figures distorted and dead.
How I long to see that place again
Where generations have come and gone.
But when I return to my childhood home
I remain silent and withdrawn.
As I stand behind that barrier
I study each imperfection minute
And lament how I speak with foreign voices
But in my mother tongue I am mute.