My first school experience.
Color the apple red.
Important. Neat. Concrete.
Reading Group
Watch friends like a hawk.
Make sure to open to the same page.
Heart pounding concentration.
Listen-watch-listen-watch.
Carefully now,
See Dick run. Run, run Dick.
See Jane run. Run, run Jane.
“No Dear, we are here at the bottom of the page.”
I stare hard at the words blinking back tears.
(I can’t read it; I have lost my place.)

My mother finishes the story.
She has only seen my father cry twice,
once when his mother died and when he was told I could not read.
I don’t remember that he taught me B was “buh.”

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