“Precocious,” said the neighbor lady, talking about me.
And so I grabbed the dictionary, perched it on my knee,
intent upon my purpose, concentrating on my need
to know the meaning of the word, although I couldn’t read.
At three years old, another neighbor said that I was sweet.
I licked my arm, thinking that I might be good to eat,
but I tasted of my modeling clay, and I began to choke.
I figured out his comment was something of a joke.
My crazy older brother used to call me “out of sight”
when at the dinner table—in daylight, not at night.
The space between us was not much. Why couldn’t he see
this person in her rightful place was obviously me?
At four years old, I know a lot: numbers, letters, words.
What to call the insects. The names for all the birds.
I listen when they talk to me from grass or tree or fence.
It’s only human animals that often don’t make sense!