Lois (Alzheimer poem #6): How to write an S

the kitchen table
was our battleground:
if I could read at 2
then surely
I could create an “S”
at 3, she said

& I
shaped them backwards
or slumped them along lined paper sideways,
like snakes trying wildly
to escape.

I give up, 
she said to her mother,
who then told me
a story of a long country road
curving down a hill
in a perfect S

since that story
I have had no trouble with S’s:

see, I wrote 3 of them
& 1 was uppercase
when I signed her
Power of Attorney

that’s why
she wanted me to get it right
all those years ago;

so I could sign my name
next to
where she put an X
on the line
where her name should be

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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8 Responses to Lois (Alzheimer poem #6): How to write an S

  1. A very powerful and effective poem.

  2. jeglatter says:

    Powerful Susan…you are capturing the moments to illustrate all that is of that horrible, horrible illness. Thanks,

  3. just beautiful the way you have captured the frustrations that accompany the beginning of early writing and those difficult to teach letters of alphabet – s, b, d, f….and the writing teacher who imagines that understanding directiionality is the key, whereas there is more to it…and the gentle “eureka” prod of the wise and enlightened who links the new to the familiar and thus opens the gate to creative scribbles and eventually….beautiful poems and songs! great ouptut. sweet. takes me back half a century and more!

  4. Karin Wiberg says:

    I really liked all the “Lois” poems, Susan, and can relate to them so well. I think “How to Write an S” is my favorite. There is something unexpected about it in how it connects childhood and parenthood. Well done.

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