On a clean page
The blue curves of my handwriting
Contrast well with the straight lines
Running parallel on the beige-white of my paper.
Nothing is squished, cramped;
No white-out marks or cross-outs
Mar my work of art.
It took me countless hours
On nice, sunny Sundays
To achieve this masterpiece.
I turn it in
And it comes back
Only one day later
Defigurized by angry, biting red marks
Written in careless, sloppy handwriting.
– Gabrielle Roberts, age 13
From the 2010 WritersCorps anthology “Wonder Turner” at the San Francisco Main Public Library
Poem of the Month: September 2010