Date Night: Silent Conversation

I say hello to Barton at the door
And turn back to Joanne to wave goodbye. 
Joanne, (hidden from view), gives me a sign:
Thumb of one hand curved to meet
first finger, forming a circle: A signal that says, 
“You look great. Go have fun!”

Hand signs are one enduring
Part of our private language
As twins, as teens
As two people in conversation 
Speaking wordlessly with gestures
Eyes and posture.

A wife might send a signal for “straighten your tie”
Or a child catch her mom’s attention with a grimace:
“I’m bored! Can we go now?”
But identical twins create an entire dictionary,
A lifelong lexicon of silent directives, questions and
Signals they never need to put into words.

In their 80s these signals endure
Still veiled, embedded now 
Between the lines 
Of emails and text messages.
The wish travels far:
“You’re doing great. Go have fun!”

Eleanor Rubin is an artist and author of Eleanor Rubin: Dreams of Repair,with foreword by Howard Zinn.

Photo by Bob Vose for Look Magazine, 1956


3 Responses

  1. Interesting! Lovely! Onward with that special communication!

  2. I knew about special languages often developed between twins. Never knew about the “silent” language. Nice work. Mel

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