via Haibun Monday
I learned to print with a fat pencil on a ruled tablet. I got my teeth into it, gnawing the pencil and the pink eraser and tearing off bits of paper that I chewed like gum. In second grade, we practiced for cursive script by drawing spirals, staying between the lines. I had learned all the letters by the time we moved.
In third grade in another state, I was prohibited from using cursive until it was taught to the other students. In fifth grade, I taught myself to write backwards in script that could only be read in a mirror. I was learning not to write all the things I was learning not to say.
I married a would-be author who was better at not writing than I was. I had stacks of journals in my closet written in Spanish; if no one around me could read them, it was as if I hadn’t written them.
Before turning 40, I began an MFA program in poetry. There, I learned how to write about, around, and near poetry. I learned to write a poem so impenetrable that it was impregnable to criticism. Now, having unlearned everything I have been taught until now, I am beginning to write.
Though age brings wisdom,
the pen drops from my fingers,
winter in my hands.