Fruits of Labor
by Kelly Sargent
I wrap your tiny hand around my throat,
size identical to your own,
for you to feel the sounds vibrating within:
You wrap your tiny hand around your throat,
size identical to my own,
for you to mimic the vibrations
that form the consonants and the vowels that you cannot hear.
Your index finger with the Snoopy band-aid searches for the “r-r-r”…
I shake my head. Look at my lips, I sign.
I watch the cherry Chapstick crack on your lips
as “blueberry” makes them pucker.
Umm, say it slower, I say. See my tongue?
You mimic and mash “n-n-n” against the roof of your mouth
with a tentative nod and raised, hopeful eyebrows.
Hand on my hip. Hmm, remember Dr. Lane with her popsicle stick? Ahhh …
But you open too wide.
We cover our mouths momentarily to stifle girlish giggles —
We are, after all, hard at work.
and once more
fruit never tasted
in our mouths.
* * * * *
"Fruits of Labor" about the author working with her deaf twin sister first appeared in Cerasus Magazine and will also appear in Kelly Sargent's forthcoming poetry chapbook, Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion (Kelsay Books, Summer 2022).
Kelly Sargent is a hard of hearing author and artist whose works have appeared in more than forty literary publications. She is a Best of the Net nominee, and her newest poetry chapbook entitled Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She wrote for a national newspaper for the Deaf, and currently serves as the creative nonfiction editor and an assistant nonfiction editor for two literary journals, as well as a reviewer for an organization dedicated to making visible the artistic expression of sexual violence survivors.