In the seconds my back is turned
Eleanor clambers up to the desk,
pencil and book of poems just received
from a friend glowing bright. In a blink
she stakes her claim in parabolas
on the flyleaf as if she had waited all
of her two-and-a-half years for this chance
at skywriting, lines drawn in the sand,
uncipherable field she will one day
thumb through, bold ellipses
traced cradle to moment when
flesh becomes word.
I could say ruination, page scarred,
erasure a blight. But over my shoulder,
her future scrawls foxed and dogeared—
scribble of Seuss in the rain, on a train,
Little Prince at the baobabs, Antonia's sod
house on the red-tipped plain. Her hands
won't stay dimpled, unlettered, schooled
to the margins, the ruler, the rule.
For now, let fingers wing apple to cocoon,
x-ray to zebra, her delight a caw
quick as mockingbird's scold.