Call him inarticulate and guffaw
when small phrases stick like bones in his throat,
if that’s what you need. You flay his pride raw
with the scourge your language wields as you gloat
over his chaos of words. He would break
off if he could, to please you, the padlock
the school squeezed down on his tongue. He would make
clauses so grand even you dare not mock.
Now he beats sweet subtle runs with his drum-
sticks on the face of his pan. Fluently
his wrists weave silvery speeches. They come
with oratory the soul understands. Free
of fetters he masters such eloquence
scoffers like you withdraw into silence.
Copyright © Cecil Gray