May 22, 2013
TECHNOS QUARTERLY Summer 2002 Vol. 11 No. 2
Hablar con los Hombres en el Techo
A Poem by George Hall, TECHNOS Poet Laureate
When I was about 12.
During World War II.
I went with my father
to bustling Charlotte on a summer
He was caught up in long conferences
about engineering plans for
airports and dams. Or such.
Leaving me with little to do. On
In the grand hotel. Downtown.
But I found a nice bookstore
And was fascinated by it.
There being none back in
my own little hometown
in those primitive days.
It wasn't the Novels that caught
my eye. Nor the Histories either.
Nor Sports. Nor Arts.
But Foreign Languages. Indeed.
Grammars and Dictionaries.
Each filled with adventure
and grown-up mystery.
German. French. And more.
I managed to buy a thin volume
of beginning Spanish.
And threw myself into it
with unaccustomed zeal.
Before long I could read
lots of stuff in that exotic tongue.
But sadly found that there were no
who could speak it with me.
How that has changed. All to the good.
Across the street as I write this
works a platoon of busy roofers.
All Hispanics. Chattering gleefully
in that colorful tongue. From
Oh how I wish I could have persisted
in my studies when I was young.
And excited at the mere prospect
of learning something new.
I could pop over and congratulate
them. One by one.
On their marvelous speed and
Raleigh, North Carolina
March 16, 2002
Illustration by Joe Lee.