How To Teach A Deaf Child To Speak
Place your hand on her throat.
Instruct her to repeat your sound.
Tell her how good her speech is.
Her parents want her to believe
she’ll grow up just like anyone else.
They don’t tell her about the looks
strangers give behind her back
when they hear her grating voice.
Give her the gift of self-doubt.
It’s a gift that keeps giving.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 17 books. His poetry collections include How to Kill Poetry (Sibling Rivalry Press), Road Work Ahead (Sibling Rivalry Press), Mute (A Midsummer Night’s Press), This Way to the Acorns (The Tactile Mind Press; reprint, Handtype Press), and St. Michael’s Fall (Deaf Life Press). His novel Men with Their Hands (Queer Mojo) won first place in the Project: QueerLit Contest 2006. His poetry has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He can be found online at raymondluczak.com.