My Destiny

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on
My Destiny

The hall seethed.
Teenagers herded
between classes.

He stepped in front of me,
an adult out of place,
white shirt and tie.

Like me, he had two eyes,
but one,
stared sightless
over my shoulder.

His good eye,
working for two,
eyed mine.

He minced no words.
“I hear you can write.”

He might as well
have accused
me of breathing.

We all had been taught
The ancient symbols of
the alphabet—

the letters,
their shape,
their sounds,
the possible combinations.

We’d learned together—

See Jane run.
See Spot jump.
See Bob climb.

Eleven years had passed
in the turning of a page—

one to go— 

Nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. 
Sentences. Paragraphs.

We all could write.

I’d told no one
I treasured the books.

Only Mother knew.

She’d confiscated
the flashlight
more than once.

“My name is O’Sammon,” he said.
“I teach journalism.
“I’d like you to sign up.
“I think you’ll be good at it.”

He’d singled me out of the herd.

Someone had ratted me out.

I did.
I was.

A one-eyed teacher made all the difference.

. . . j
from the Childhood Remedy and Other Such collection

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