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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 4, December 2016

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Theresa A. Cancro
Wilmington, Delaware, USA


Voiceless

In basic sign language class, we are not supposed to use our voice. But the woman next to me, in low tones, keeps asking me to help her understand the signed instructions. Our deaf teacher, although she now faces the blackboard, senses our whispers. She turns, her hands and index fingers backpedaling in a circle, the gesture for "use signing." Later, she signs that before ASL was accepted, her teachers forced her to voice words, how as a kid she suffered through blowing on tissues and learning to read lips.

We struggle through the lesson as I shush my classmate.

winter wind
sweeping through the door
a magpie's taunts

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