Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

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The Giving of Tongues

by Jim Hayes

It was late in the sixth day and God had one last chore—
to give mankind the gift of speech (a thousand tongues or more).
“Listen to my voice,” He said “It tells what you will speak!”
The Irish listened and got Erse, the Greeks heard, then spoke Greek.
The French obtained an accent that Lotharios would die for,
the Scots acquired a dialect impossible to decipher.
His task was near completion, that’s when all the angels scoffed—
the Dutch began to speak in Dutch as God got tired and coughed.

Jim Hayes has appeared in First Things, Iambs and Trochees and various on-line publications; he has been a featured poet in Light Quarterly and won the Willard Espy award for Light Verse.  His first collection The Bad Habits of Little Boys, illustrated by Janet Kenny, will be published shortly by Clock & Rose Press.