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Reading in English
by Ann MacKenzie

I rely on her daily
to take my English
translate it into Arabic
for two Iraqi boys
in my class.

She enters quietly
quickly places
a gourmet chocolate
on my desk.

Her long thick lashes
hide her teenage
eyes which speak
of immediacy.

As I point to
the whiteboard
covered with letters
phonic sounds
so different
from hers, I wonder
what brought her
here from Yemen.

Today we are learning K.
K for kite.
K for kangaroo.
K for kiss.

The four of us
break into a laughter.
A laugh resonating
through language.
A laugh permeating
our cultures.
A laugh entering
the soul.


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