At Mother's Knees?

by Leland Jamieson

A child first learns its Mother Tongue
not at its mama’s knees but in
hormonal warps of womb among
her heaving, gurgling guts’ deep din.

Her vocal cords send subtle vibes
cascading to its eager ears,
entraining them. The babe ascribes
raw feeling to her vibes’ wild veers.

And soon it’s babbling by her knees,
to fortify its vocal cords
and practice all the masteries
its own tongue’s growing skill awards.

How devastating when Mom lies,
betrays the gut, which, tongueless, dies.

© 2007 by Leland Jamieson


About the Author

Leland Jamieson lives and writes in East Hampton, Connecticut, USA. Recent and forthcoming work appears in numerous print and Internet magazines. His first book, 21st Century Bread, can be previewed and is available at


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