Basement II

Dad framed a drawing of mine
on the wall, over Mom’s research
books.

At first it was a sign
I was capable of something as good
as he does it. It has lines, crayon
color, a few almost-words.
Not a bad drawing
for a pre-schooler.

I got older. His prints covered
my walls. I tried calligraphy, algebra,
meditation, became T-Ball champion
of the neighborhood; I got the best marks
in the fifth grade
and that drawing never moved.

My letters became easy, my sentences seduced
their commas; I read every science fiction book
I could find, even the ones
I didn’t understand. I wrote short stories
and volunteered three hours a week
for the high school newspaper
and that drawing never moved.

But I couldn’t draw
like that again. Not even my Debate Team
Champion certificate could move that drawing
off the wall.

Tonight I climbed over
Mom’s books and stole it
while we waited
for him. I put one of his
drawings in its place.

Today is the end
of winter break.
I’ll be at college
in 18 months
and that drawing
has not moved.

After dinner
I’m going to feed it
to the furnace.

Added: March 12, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014