Closed Captions. English Standard.

I wear hearing aids and am what they call profoundly deaf. I hear , but sometimes have difficulty picking out the actual words that people are saying.
I find it hard sometimes to catch all the words that my fellow poets are saying when they do their reading.
I wish the world came with subtitles.
It’s bad in my taxi , with masks and the screen between me and my passengers, to get them to speak clearly and give me their destination.
I wish the world came with subtitles.
Watching tv, it’s great when the programmes have closed captions. But hate it when they don’t , or some On Demand shows don’t. Or when the words are behind the actual audio.
I wish the world came with subtitles.
In this constantly masked off world, concessions are made for many, but city centres are blocked off for disabled people, and deaf people can get out, but can’t see what you are saying.
I wish the world came with subtitles.
I play my music too loud, my radio goes on too loud,
My podcasts go on too loud, I’m not too proud if you ask me to turn it down. I don’t know. I don’t realise. I can’t be sure how it sounds to you. I know how it sounds to me. Loud. But not too.
I wish the world came with subtitles.
Hearing aids aren’t perfect. They don’t make things normal. They help. I’m not ignoring you. Your words are important. Very important. It’s just, it’s just…well I can’t explain. Which is strange for one who uses words to make a point. Tell a story. Let you know. I’m sorry

I wish the world came with subtitles.
I take them out. Almost silence. Can barely hear the washing machine. The noisy washing machine when I’m in the kitchen beside it. The morning alarm. Ha! It rings for ages, disturbing my wife. Waking her when she doesn’t need to be awake. I don’t hear it. Until it gradually gets louder.

I wish the world came with subtitles.
I wasn’t born this way. It’s hereditary. My grandma on my father’s side, then my dad, but he never went and seen about it. Then me. Now my daughter.
My grandma’s aid was big, and hung in a strap beneath her top. It squeaked, feedback if you went to close. You had to speak into the box at times. To be heard.
In a world before subtitles.

I do sometimes enjoy the silence, switching mine off, or taking them out. And being alone in my head. Enjoy the silence. Of being at one with me. But then I still need to know when I get shouted down for tea. And, yes I realise that I should check to see if the volume on my phone is up.
But wouldn’t it be great, if the world came with subtitles.

Floating in the air, words destined for only the people that they are meant for. Or flick an imaginary switch and you can see everybody’s words. Floating. Soaring. Shouting, swearing, counting, caring. Perfect for finding words for a found poem. The silence of constant chatter in a world where words do matter. Chose your font. Chose your language. Hit translate. Was that? Ah too late. Your word escaped in the breeze. To hide amongst the trees.
A world, not perfect, but with subtitles.