From Emma's Scrapbook: 1938

Her son Andy’s teacher,
Mr. C.A. Conley, sent home
a page of the boy’s handwriting,
and a picture of a sailing ship
he colored. The ship is under
a blushed setting of rising sun,
the ocean is smeared with violets,
the saffron sails are as proud
and full as pregnant aprons.

But the script is what makes
her wonder at what they are
teaching the boy, what odd
new words have been trying him.
Fourth grade, already a class
beyond what his father passed,
and his uppercase letters look
like fine buildings in town,
laced and painted in three colors.
His lowercase script shirks
across the page like ants
trailing some rumored sweetness.
The wispy line of numerals
were an afterthought.

This is a sample of my best
it says below,
and she is sure it is, sure
it will never be as fine
as this again. She folds
the ruled paper eight times,
and puts it away in her book.

:: Naton Leslie, Emma Saves Her Life (2007)

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