Learning to Read by Lorraine Achey

Every spring, the other kids goColumnChopsticks

to the children’s museum in St. Louis.

My parents load up their old Airstream,

encapsulating the family’s daily needs in

nineteen sleek feet of silver mobile home

for the semi-annual tombstone tour.


I’m in the stiff back seat

of a dusty blue Grand Marquis.

My only seat mates are boxes full

of decrepit documents, covered

in mysterious calligraphy

that I can’t yet read.


It must be something important.

As days slide by, my vagabond parents

can’t pass even the most neglected cemetary

without stopping to brush away leaves

and compare dates and names

between fragile paper and weathered stone,

always searching and seeking.


Back in the car, bored, sweaty, sleepy,

I crumple over on those boxes

of names and places and births and deaths.

In my slumber, I dream of the day

I can finally read and will unlock

the mysteries of those signs and sigils.


So, among those blocks of granite,

cared with the alphabet, both

fancy and plain, numbers marching

underneath the melodic names,

I learn how to read.

~ Lorraine Achey

Lorraine Achey is from southeast Kansas and writes poetry and short fiction. Her efforts are often hampered by a lapful of  dogs and their noisy toys. Visit floodgaps.blogspot.com to read more of her work.



One thought on “Learning to Read by Lorraine Achey

  1. This was very touching for two reasons: John and I used to have an airstream and we would take trips to his family cemetery twice a year for reunion picnics. Becky


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