Friday First Drafts


He sits in the front row.
always early, eager, prepared,
the stereotype of overachievement,
and during a lengthening lecture, his gaze
glosses over slightly, he relaxes his grip
and a thin bead of drool taffies from his mouth
unnoticed until it strikes his hands limp in his lap.
Gnarled.  Is there a better word for those hands
hovering and pecking at the laptop before him?
How do you describe his eyes if not searching?
What is the word for his joyful struggle
with verbs, sentences, the spoken exchange
that flows effortlessly from his classmates,
the twinkle behind his damaged smile,
the brain wreck left (no horn was sounded)
after strokes as a child
mentioned in stumbling passing?
How do you tell him - again -
that he cannot achieve what he is
convinced he can?
I'm at a loss for words.


  1. Maybe he can achieve it? Maybe? I don't know, and I always feel for those who have been scarred by life's traumas, both physcial and emotional. Which I'm sure you feel as well, I'm not implying you don't. Gnarled...a good word for our hands and sometimes our hearts.

  2. Yes, you are so right to recognize the internal conflict this young man has caused me. I just don't know if he will ever get there...but I have an irrational hope. Thanks for the comment, Bellezza.