Jacqueline Jules

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks,  Field Trip to the Museum,

(Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press.  Her poetry has appeared in over 100 publications including The PotomacBeltway Poetry, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, Potomac Review, and Connecticut River Review. She is also the author of forty books for young readers. Visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com  @jacquelinejules

 

Spanish at Sixty

 

Aprendo

I learn

 

poco a poco

the way I climb stairs,

one step at a time,

hand on the rail, gripping

 

las palabras

new combinations of letters

 

en Español

to identify objects in a world

unexpectedly expanding.

 

Why shouldn’t an adjective follow a noun?

 

Is it better to ignore gender

or acknowledge its importance

with an “a” or an “o?”

 

All my life I’ve created labels through

the lens of one language, reluctant to reach

for words spoken outside my house,

doubtful I had the skills to do more.

 

Ahora

at an age

when I struggle with stairs,

I am surprised by a mind

more flexible than my legs,

 

y me siento

not as old as I thought.

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