It's just poetry, it won't bite


10.29.16 Posted in today's words by

Jerry Durick’s most recent poem to appear here was “A Few Other Things” (May 2016) 

By Jerry Durick

After class they’re there patiently waiting
To ask about the assignment, the one posted
Online, the one I discussed in class, the one
They didn’t follow, understand enough to do,
So I go over it again, more slowly, as if speed
In speaking makes a difference; I notice I speak
Louder as if that would make a difference, as if
Language problems are solved that easily, as if
They are hard of hearing; this is community college
And the community needs this, a third of some
Classes is trying to latch on, catch on, make their
Way through the confusing streets of American
English; I picture myself lost in one of their lands—
Russia or Bosnia or Nepal or Congo—trying to ask
For help and someone stops and explains to me
In their language, speaking slower and louder,
There I am desperately trying to take notes and
Hoping somehow to get by.

2 Responses to “ESL”

  1. devon says:

    Nicely said, Jerry. I work in the profession, too, and you captured the mix of bemusement and compassion that our job inspires.

  2. Thanks for the view into your world. Continue to be patient; you will reach the majority.

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