I’m a Sharp Shooter by Nancy Schatz Alton
My student says her brain is a place made of boxes, everything that happens
sorted into a box. She dips in stored wealth, decorates
pages with hand-picks treasures from gorgeous open squares.
This matches a found cartoon of a brain: three levels with boxes on shelves
that spill memories. Unmet humans connect, sweet energy transfer:
Newly-published cartoonist channels confident 11-year-old girl.
The girl’s mother thanks me, her sweet darling loves my brain.
My brain with its gnawed-on cardboard trashed by a gerbil
named Fritz who’s wheel spun in my childhood bedroom.
What we chose to remember names us until we pick another box:
Teaching my friend how to ice skate, the one who’d never experience age 14.
Two things: grief expert & ice skater. I skate backwards & push forward.
Melting polar ice caps, sharpened blades, wisdom, boxes.
My sixth-grade yearnings, I wrote through everything
until I (narrowly, sweetly) pursued: my hands & 1 clicking keyboard.
Grief is a cardinal & tears sprout birdseed.
Words whisper salt water: feelings are contagious.
My brain is made of boxes: I blow every lid off.