I’m a Sharp Shooter

Perfect Blue Tube

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.





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