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Fourth Summer
Shoshauna Shy


I taught myself to read
because of Thing One

and Thing Two, and what
Dr. Seuss had them getting
into; because of pictures
of locomotives and roosters
and kittens dappling pages
of Seven Little Postmen.
How could I wait a whole
five seasons more for
Mrs. Cleck’s chalkboard
at Dewey Elementary
once my mother, shoulders
golden in sundress straps,
put me on her lap, showed
me the book she clasped
containing words like
     scuppernong   fleece  
        brethren   corral 
   supine   ginger   brash
All those letters arranged
in exotic combinations
I had never heard before -
pronounced aloud right there
on our living room sofa


This poem was first published by the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
Used here with the author’s permission.




Shoshauna Shy reads short stories to trigger ideas for poetry, and is the author of four poetry collections. She runs the Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf program out of Madison, Wisconsin, and works for the Wisconsin Humanities Council. She also has a cat care business, which lends itself to quiet time for reading and writing.



Post New Comment:
This poem is sheer delight. I loved it
Posted 10/08/2015 04:35 AM
Lori Levy:
Love the "shoulders/golden in sundress straps" and the exotic words.
Posted 10/07/2015 11:32 AM
Yes! One of my fascination words when I was little was "heathens," spoken by my grandmother in reference to people who lived a less-than life of gambling, drinking, etc. Poets LOVE words!!
Posted 10/07/2015 08:23 AM
love this poem, shoshauna!
Posted 10/07/2015 06:50 AM
that was delicious!
Posted 10/07/2015 03:05 AM

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