Early Lightning

By Julie Allyn Johnson


Unruly braids    paisley-green pinafore

all of five years old —

I’m the personification of focus

as Miss Garnett wearing smoke-gray

horn rim glasses,

sunlight bouncing off ice-blue

rhinestones, astonishes me.


This is the shape of the letter M.


In pink chalk, she draws it out,

phoneticizes its reverberation:  Emmmmmm….


She points to its mascots,

impish mice, upper case/lower case

crudely cut from cardstock —

twitchy whiskers, long curly tails —

in line with twenty-five other

sound-pairs in a letter train

circling round & round the classroom.


Jiffy-Pop sparks

cram my cranial headspace,

detonations of imparted data,

bursts of eureka: impacts to alter the course

of my history.


Twenty-six powerful revelations:

sounds have a name,

a symbol,

an identifier       letters.




Letters form words.

Words                   convey ideas.

Ideas translate to images.


Images fuel inspiration.


Energy, melody, enchantment,

conduits all, to a fluid, amazing

beautiful world.


Kindergarten thunderbolt.

And still the mighty skies

rain down lingual magic.