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Poem: Spelling Lesson 

You ask me how to spell shovel.
S like a snake you know, O also
an easy one.
H stops you.
I say, “A line and a line and a line
in the middle like in your name.
E? The first letter in your name,
remember?”
Back and forth we go, me thinking
how easy it is when everything exists
as an extension of yourself, in relation
to your name only instead of a shovel
being a shovel

cold, hard, heavy tool used for digging holes
that each of us must fill.
That’s the hard part.

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  • Poetry is edited by Philip Levine.

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