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|  READING LESSON

 
  Jake reads to me at four o'clock
in the morning. I coax him into Dr. Seuss,
after our sleepy talk, under a feather blanket,
about his fear
of books
and us, his fear
of our disappointment in him.
My head swims in an ocean
of air
that I can't breathe.
Not so Jake. Never.

So I find a book on the shelf,
gather him, and he reads
sitting on my lap with the soft shush
of early morning rain.
I can remember already reading
thick books at his age.
And now I write my own,
I tell myself, to blaze a path for him.

But he sees me instead
as a giant
who can crush him, leaving him
in the swirl of my abilities,
in a swim of disembodied letters
broken
like loose formations of geese
following each other
off the sky of the page.


from Forever the Last Time
Wolsak & Wynn
2004
Copyright © Jim Slominski