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Handwriting Analysis

                                    Katrina Vandenberg


On the first day of fourth grade, Mrs. Hunter
collected our penmanship samples to save

until June; by then, she said, we’d write

in the handwriting we would have all our lives.
And though she probably read that in a book

on child development, I was so excited

I could hardly stand it. In nine months
my adult self would be born, she would

send me a letter, and in the ways she swooped,

careened, and crossed her t’s, I could
read everything I would need to know.

It made me happy the whole year, thinking

of how we were writing ourselves into the future.
And that each of us got closer whenever we turned

the silver gears in the sharpener near the door,

the sweet-smelling wood shavings tumbling
inside, smelling as if a house were being built.


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