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Tamara Madison


Schooled to the pencil-smudged hand,
the spiral notebook’s gouging coil,
the wrong-bladed scissor,
the teacher-approved goof-angled wrist,

the lefty later must unlearn
the wrong-handed pitch,
the fumbled catch,
and batting with the wrong arm.

Thanks to the teachings
of the right-handed world,
the lefty becomes ambidextrous:
left arm broken, the right
can perform any task demanded.

Mirror writing is an easy game,
and there’s no need in tennis
for backhand when the racquet
can be passed so deftly to the right.

At odds with the world, the lefty
knows too well the inherent wrongness
of the butter knife, the madness
of the one-spouted ladle, the burden
of double-sided intelligence.

© by Tamara Madison.

Used with the author’s permission



Tamara Madison is the author of the chapbook, The Belly Remembers, and two full-length volumes of poetry, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. She is a dog lover, a swimmer, and a native Californian who has lived in many different places in the U.S. and abroad. Tamara is thrilled to have recently retired from teaching English and French in a Los Angeles high school, and still more thrilled to have recently become a grandmother.








Post New Comment:
My lefty son will get a copy of this. Perceptive details.
Posted 08/13/2020 03:44 PM
Right - or should I say left - on the mark!
Posted 08/13/2020 12:05 PM
michael escoubas:
Totally brilliant, Tamara--written from first-hand knowledge, of course!!
Posted 08/13/2020 08:23 AM
Eye-opening and in strange alignment with current politics.
Posted 08/13/2020 07:36 AM
Larry Schug:
I once got an autograph from the great banjo player, John Hartford. He wrote his name in a style rivaling calligraphy from the ends to the center, using both hands! Nice poem. Thanks.
Posted 08/13/2020 07:20 AM
Fun poem. Congratulations, Grandma!
Posted 08/13/2020 05:40 AM

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