Vowels in the trickle of a fountain,
chasing mosquitoes over a fake pond:
‘A’, ‘E’, ‘AA’, ‘EE’, ‘EI’, ‘IJ’, ‘UI’…
Bueno. De nuevo. The low drone of a plane,
too close to the city on its way wherever,
distracting, vuelos y viajes, here in the wet
breeze in the wet leaves, anemic sun
a tease through the grey, those vowels
are just not round enough, twisted as
the church bell, whose half hours sound
like one o’clock, always one o’clock,
hints of a lunchtime not yet deserved,
missing a radio’s stadium static, el partido.
A bird screams, I’m landing, and lands.
Bracelets jingle, silvered circle punctuation
between enunciations. Try again, mija.
A motorcycle boasts the wrong way down
a one-way street, ay no mas, not this time,
‘O’, ‘OO’, ‘OE’, out of reach.
‘The Pupil’ (published in Songs of Eretz spring 2021 issue)
Poet’s Notes: “The Pupil” is one of my migration themed poems, a subject that is an important part of my family history, my life interests, and my writing. My Cuban neighbor in Amsterdam and her efforts to learn the Dutch language and culture are what inspired this poem. Those vowels are just not round enough…
Editor’s Note: Kurman constructed a poem filled with fine descriptive language and the senses. TLC