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.”




                                                                     Leone Scanlon