At bedtime, when my grandson was three
and fluent in French, flawless words
came with delicious inflection, that,
to my inexpert ear, conveyed nothing but insistence.
He would repeat and repeat,
head tilted towards my bafflement,
forlorn, then frustrated and angry.

I made him boiled eggs and called them green
eggs and ham, which made him laugh,
and he cleaned his plate and played in the tub
merrily, then I read book after book to him
in English, cuddled together in his bed
without a common language.

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