We’ve traveled the alphabet, learned
the beginning of each cheery picture,
arrived at Z for zebra. The letter cards
remind me that each child is a Z,
streamlined and leaning into the future.
And that I am the zebra leaping back,
spanning the staid gates of a year,
stretching to a sleek and easy slur.
I am clearing the smiling sun as once some
improbable cow leapt over the moon,
clearing the octopus tangled in his
inky thoughts, the igloo bricked together
like an argument for form. I am clearing
the bright dialogue of balloons filled with
vocabulary, and rising through
an expanding complexity of thought.
I am aiming at A and
a bite of time’s apple.
—Paula Schulz, Slinger