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I Hope You Can Draw Now
By Christine Stoddard
“Miss Stoddard, will you teach me how to draw?”
She is the smartest girl in the class;
the fastest reader;
the biggest trouble-maker;
a little diva of disaster.
“I can't right now.”
Kiddie scissors always jam on
three sheets thick of
red, white, blue.
“Did you finish your worksheet?”
She leans onto the low table and whispers:
“I don't mean now. I mean when I's grown like you.”
I choke and almost drop the blasted scissors.
Be firm. Authoritative. Don't get attached.
“I won't be here when you're grown.
I'm moving at the end of the school year.”
“But someday you'll see me. Someday, when I's grown,
we'll pass each other on the street or
see each other on the bus.
Will you teach me then?”
The scissors clank against the wood pulp.
And then I drop my gaze and turn my head
to hide the tears rimming my eyes.
Christine Stoddard is the Executive Editor of Quail Bell Magazine. This poem comes from her forthcoming collection, The Children of Jackson Ward.