“Learning Italian Slowly” by David Shumate

I learn three words each day. It’s been seven months now and
perhaps I could carry on a conversation with a Sicilian child. If she
spoke slowly. In present tense. And only about pencils and dogs
and cheese. Sometimes I feel my new Italian self growing inside
me. He’s a little man who gesticulates as he speaks. He rides his
bicycle to the market to buy eggplant, anise, and porcini. Then
delivers them to his elderly mother. In the afternoon he plays
bocce with the older men. The children mimic the way he
whispers to himself. The grimaces he makes with his face. When
the moon comes out he slicks back his hair and sings beneath the
window of the woman he loves. What a sight he is. Down on one
knee. His arms outstretched. So willing to make a fool of himself.
Over and over again.

“Learning Italian Slowly” by David Shumate, from The Floating Bridge. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008

6 thoughts on ““Learning Italian Slowly” by David Shumate

  1. loved this and was laughing pretty hard at “perhaps I could carry on a conversation with a Sicilian child. If she
    spoke slowly. In present tense…”

    that feels like my French right now – ha!

    but what a great selection again….
    have a nice day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. well thanks – but I am not really learning it – just trying to recall pieces from 1992 and 1996 – when I had to study it – but I do still keep in touch with my French teacher from ’97 – but it is always in English. and oh wow= how fun Fre-nish….

        Like

  2. For some reason, “Moonstruck” popped into my mind as I imagined Grandpa under the full moon walking his dogs, “It’s the Bella Luna! The Bella Luna!”

    That is all of the Italian I know (though, I can consume the country’s food…like a BOSS!)

    Liked by 1 person

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