Friday, August 31, 2007

What Did You Say?

Two girls invited me their Jerry Lewis backyard carnival in the 1970s. I was told I needed my "parrots' permission." I'm sure the spokesperson girl said "parents," and I knew that's what she meant, but what I heard was "parrots."

Are my parents "parrots?" Have they repeated to me what their parents repeated to them and so on back to Middle and Old English?

I regret that my parents and I sometimes speak like parrots who have been in the custody of pirates. But what I hope repeats is the flash of feathers and fathers and mother tongue with its beaked hardness and picky, pecky precision.


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