Ode to Left-Handedness and Other Poems

Ode to Left-Handedness

I sat at my kindergarten desk,
Surrounded by others,
Either cheerful
Or bored, who were
The requisite circles
With ease,
Or slicing down
Straight, penciled lines
As the teacher directed.

I did my dutiful best,
But the scissors
Hurt my fingers
In a minor,
Distracting way,
And I was too young
To realize the handle
Was biased
For a right-hand child,
So all I could do
Was cut in clumsy zigzags
And feel like a fool.

Staring hard at the blades,
I tried to will them
To obey,
Who couldn’t conceive
I was being freed
That day
By those little silver wings
Of a bird
Intent on the erratic,
Authentic pattern
Of its own flight
Through a sky of colored paper.

Coleridge and Me

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