I hunch and wait. Small chair, small desk.
A loud clock ticks in the afterschool hush.
Lunch monies due Monday! the chalkboard
squeals. The walls echo her sturdy shoes.
Putting pen to paper, I note what the teacher
deems most important: precision.
I fidget at a slower pace might do him good,
and pull the frayed seams on my skirt.
I think: What has happened to my voice?
but nod and take my leave, my face
dyslexic. I’ve betrayed him with my reticence
to boast his extra-curricular abilities–
how he identifies each fungus, fruit, or flower,
plays the piano by ear, draws near-perfect suits
of armor, and knows how to coax
a slow worm into his calm, unshaking hand.