My muse does not take orders well; asked
For a poem about my childhood she refuses,
Claims I was the least poetic of children,
Offers, at last, a story about my father
Who had four older sisters to call on
When he wanted to be read to. (He knew
Not to ask his brothers). One day Doris tired of this
Saying "Natie, you know how to read!" And,
To his amazement, he did. Some would say
He must have picked up words along the way
Watching the books while others read.
Me, I think it may have been the sheer force
Of his sister's exasperation, telling the universe
That if it did not grant my father literacy
It would answer to her.