Poems ▸ Ya Deaf Old Bugger! - Chris Burchell

Ya Deaf Old Bugger!

What’s it like
Going deaf?
What? Or polite

Cupped ears and confusion.
Irritated stares.
What? Oh, I mean,

Is he ignoring me
Or is he stupid?
I’m not shouting, as you see.
Am I?

Am I?

Staring at lips,
Trying to make sense of an inchoate world.
Americans all are all squeak and babbles,
Regional accents inscrutable.

People talk silently in
Po faced comments.
Are they saying something

Or nasty?
Even clever,
Or funny.
Can’t tell. 

They yell
Ya deaf old bugger!
As if intelligence has leaked out of my ears.
Hey! I’m still me in this goldfish bowl.
It’s you who are mouthing bubbles.

Chris Burchell