A young girl

tells her grandfather

she’s learning to write.


She explains

the yellow pencils

and blue lined paper


She tells him she’s learned

how to write her name.


“Well that’s magnificent!”

he exclaims,

“I’d love to read your handwriting.

Will you write something for me?”



She shakes her head,

“But Grandpa,

you can’t read it yet,


“I’m just practicing.”


Her grandfather smiles

and leans down to whisper

gravelly grinning decades next to her face


“My dear,

that is the great secret.


Even when you get good

at handwriting, or anything else,

even when you grow up

and get big like your parents,

even when you’re old like me,


every shoelace

and every signature


is still




Let me show you…”

he explains,

wrapping his fingers

around the yellow Ticonderoga



“We can practice