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Learning Leaves and Petals and Stems


When my little brother doesn’t know a word
he twiddles his toes and he bites his lip and
he picks at the skin of his thumb with his finger.
The way I pick at mine when
thoughts linger on lint or wander to nowhere.
Somewhere he knows that words are like numbers
that add up with eachother to make sounds, but at
1234585 or w-a-l-k-i-n-g, it becomes easier
to let eyes travel the ground
than to keep on to an unknown destination.
We find complications on familiar roads because
new flowers grow and distract with their colors.
He finds it hard to decipher dark green from night blue and
sighs at the cruel tricks of the printed page.

It’s ok.
I’ll birth a sister for this poem in a few months.
He’ll have trained feet for what they’ve failed to teach in school.
He’ll be a botanist who can name every plant.

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