Seventeen times table

I caught him
trying to read the internet
starting at “S” then
going back to “A”;

Palms up, shoulders shrugged I ask
“Why do you read that way?”;

from his coat pocket
seventeen slips of paper he slips
under my unforgiving gaze;
the handwriting beautiful,
elegant, serifed
his written words displayed;

“When I was young
I was never taught
that there was
any other way”;

His eyes leave his shoelaces
and from under his breath
he mumbles; ashamed;
“It took me seventeen attempts
to write fourteen words;
it took four cups of coffee
six cigarettes and most of
the bloody day”.

I punched him in the arm;

“Your determination
is my inspiration;
I don’t see
you falling or failing
I see your passion
for one sentence; complete”.

We smiled and calmly
he palmed his first attempts away;
I punched him and hoped him
never to return to a single slip
ever in his life again.

© Copyright D. Archer October 2011

It was brought to my attention yesterday 18.11.2011 that I am getting a bit up my own backside with my prolific writing. The fact is I am typing up a box of fag packets, post-it notes, and old envelopes I wrote on in the past and shoved them in my “Box of Shame”. I was oblivious to the fact that my friend who is severely dyslexic was more than a bit annoyed with me. As a person with more time than talent I can string a few words together granted, but I never realised what effect this was having on my friend. I am sorry. This is for you (you know who you are). I wish I could plaster a wall as beautifully as you can.