Learning to Spell My Name

by Shelly Reed
Through elusive verse
I return to this mystery
of publication,
attempting to break the spell
of my mid-western anonymity.
I donít write any better as a redhead
than I did as a brunette.
Editors joke that I should,
but I donít know a damn thing about
farming, wildflowers or the PTA.
I have taken time to memorize
mint tea, sandalwood,
new age music,
rice cakes and Frank OíHara,
but who cares
except my three-year-old daughter
who keeps asking me to help her
write her name.
Like the clean after-coolness
of a swift shower,
she is enchanted with me.

© 2001 Shelly Reed. All rights reserved.