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‘Brother tongue’

This song is for my brother
across the water, whose
raised eyebrow by email
is a flicker in which I do

I sing the praises of his silences
which sweep up the dead
leaves of sound

I praise his photos of girlfriends
leaning on pillars
in temples
the light hitting them

For he shucks off words
like awkward cricket balls:
bouncers or spinners.

O Lord, I praise
unspoken things which dwell
in the inside
of his voice:
my maiden name’s there.



Nicole Fordham was a student on Tim Dooley’s ‘Defining A Style’ this summer at The Poetry School. She blogs for Disability Arts Online.


  • Josh Bone

    I just returned from a year abroad working and traveling and your tender poem really struck me, I don’t have much more too say other than to show my appreciation for those few words that have opened an emotional perspective on an aspect of my life which would have been closed otherwise. Its wonderful.

  • P A Livsey

    I like the image ‘shucks off words,’… Agree it is a tender poem

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