at three i wuz a smart kid.
i’d dress myself, spoke the king’s english,
didn’t wet the bed, or shit on the cats.
i remembered what i was supposed to
and especially what i was told to forget.
i remembered the day my father left,
but didn’t miss him as much
as the cat did.
at four, i was a wunderkind.
mostly people wondered what planet i wuz from.
wondered that myself, since i wuzn’t like anyone i knew.
but then again, i only knew my family
and nobody’s like them.
but i was literate, self-educated,
with not a friend in the world,
at five, nothing much happened
since i chose to skip kindergarten
and take up reading the encyclopedia.
i was especially fond of volume “f”
because that’s where friends could be found.
at sicks, they put me in public school,
“union school,” in old dixie,
which even at sicks struck me as ironic.
i attended with genius kids who spoke
of drinking “mirk” and using “proncils”
to write, of course, and how they walked
“up the skreet” to school.
i made a friend, my first
but he wuz run over while walking
home from school.
i skipped the funeral by neglecting to tell
my mother i’d made a friend
his name is the first thing i ever remember