A word in my son’s mouth
first clusters with bubbles,
curds into slow said syllables.
He blends them.
Takes in tone and texture of the sounds,
the extracted, the misinterpreted, the caught-just-one-time
in marrow and mouth rehearsals.
The curious muse
populates his bucket
with more new heard sounds.
He churns again.
Pronounces then ponders the mixture.
Practices pronunciation through gestures.
Dances it out in fast turns, flailing arms,
claps hands to gestate
his intrepid interpretation.
Sound hatched, launched in quirks, big bursts.
Stands akimbo. Teeth bare in wide smile.
We smile back.
He is gratified to try again.