Learning the Alphabet
Ransome’s gone. Came from Georgia, went to Maine.
His mother dragged him out of school
again, like a wooden truck on a string.
He didn’t know the alphabet
but when he finished banging his head
on the desk the teacher learned he was a whiz
at math, and he could draw—a grazing zebra,
a truck flashing along a highway.
I said, “You’re an artist,”
and after I helped him with “t” and “u,”
he asked, “Am I an artist?”
and smiled at “Yes.”
Only a month and Ransome’s gone.
The zebra and the truck
are pinned on the wall,
in the corner a tiny “r.”