“Dyslexia” by Heather Tibshraeny

DyslexiaThe day the words betrayed me,
you were seven:
scowling at the homeschool easy reader,
arms crossed
lip trembling
you shove away from the table,
refusing to decipher the page,
dizzy from the letters’ shenanigans.
You say they move, trade places
you sound them backwards,
some are invisible.
Their tricks infuriate you,
make you nauseous, your head ache
but they devastate me
they were my best friends:
letters making words making books
making medicine
for the world’s ills.
But don’t you worry
I know them too well
They stand dead still for me.
You will know
Ramona,
the loaves and fishes
and Caesar crossing the Rubicon
we’ll get in one way or another
I’ll hold them down for you
until you’re strong enough
to hold them yourself.


Heather Tibshraeny is an American by birth, South African by marriage, has lived in Cape Town for the past nine years.  She’s been published in Carapace and a collection with Finuala Dowling, Difficult to Explain.

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