Thursday, January 9, 2014

9 January 2014



My first-grade teacher
assigned us scarred desks,
all for the right handed,
each of us stem to stern
in a dry sea, meandering aisles
for breathing space.
Our fingers scoured inkwells
dark with blistered spills,
our ballpoints drilled
this year's dedications.
Beneath hinged lids
lay shallow drawers, slots
where our ever-breaking
yellow pencils end to ended.
I wore long curls, pulled
often by two-bit show-off
scamps until I raised
my pencil & stabbed
a boy, the hair at the back
of his head oozing red —
the nurse was called,
her braid crown to waist,
the boy’s pale face, plaid shirt,
his mute cooperation.

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