The deaf have to sign
in order to talk to themselves.
A girl sits beside me –
I believe we could say –
rattling away.
I think how hard it would be
for me to ever get out of the house,
if I had to do that.
There is always monitoring
and directions:
keys, lists, glasses,
a basket for market,
parcels to mail,
the notebook I am working in.
How could I gather all this up
as I signed?
Her eyes do not look
in the same direction,
so it’s hard to know if
she is addressing me.
She repeatedly makes
the thumbs up gesture,
to indicate okay,
with great emphasis,
and I find I do not know
what to say in response.