Chiflador


(Listen to the poem here)



Gringos don’t know how to whistle,
the bus driver tells me on the way
to Puebla.
Once in North Carolina,
I whistled at a dog,
the owner told me off. He said
It’s got a name, that dog,
you oughtta call it Chuck”.
But we in Mexico, we have

forty-eight ways, or more,
of whistling.
There’s one to say hello,
one which sounds like a teasing joke,
one which will set a man reaching for his knife,
there’s one to say I’m turning left,
and one to say I’m turning right-
and here he swerves a little,
for he gets excited,
because, he says,
then there’s one whistle which
is mine alone
just for when I get home.
The parrot answers,
the tortoise suddenly wakes up,
the children all come running out
and my wife whispers
“Mi amor”.

 

                                                                                                    Phillip Hill 2003

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(This poem is included in my book The Observation Car which is available from

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