by Maryann Corbett
In the first days, your fingers cramped. You practiced:
the patterns OOOOO, the joinings mmmmm, the moves,
right arm adapting to its rigid pose,
shapes unshifting. You bore it, buckling down—
until the day you boggled. And there it was:
a backswing slung at the slow familial Z
and a teacher’s face, glowering above your chair,
frowning and tsking at the swooped recurve
hurtled across those Ts. So stratospheric
you cracked their gravity—a breakaway!
A live tendril of loopy capital M
whose delicate descender strokes awake
the stock-still printed name below the line.
Still you, years later. All that youthful shimmy,
dip, and twirl. Sure, there are other methods
of wrist-rest, mouse pad, ergonomic chair,
the insect-walk of digits on a keyboard
plinking dead-dry symbols onto a screen.
Yet in the end, you swipe this primal marking:
the nib’s pressure, the juicing-up of ink,
the gliss, the glide, the flow, the old smooth moves.