Everyone scorns them now,
but I loved Sally and Puff,
Frank spoke of the stupidity
of the Palmer Method of handwriting,
all those spiky, pressed-together
ups and downs, the perfectly circling loops
spiraling across the page.
Each night I practiced,
tongue between clenched teeth,
showed off the next day
to my older friends who got to go
to school. For years I fought
for first seat in penmanship class
with my boyfriend, John Mellick,
though now I am among the world's
My own mother wore
a house dress all day, spruced up
for my father's white-shirted,
necktie-choked return home for supper.
Like Sally, I had a cat
and played with the older kids.
Now I am a bit of a cynic,
but sadly, I have never gained
to be bored by the mundane,
the everybody of me, nor the times tables,
the long and short vowel sounds, or even,
(God help me!) the i before e trick.