Sandpaper letters


Sandpaper letters


Do you remember learning the alphabet?

Tracing your tender fingers along the fine-grain sandpaper

carefully glued to the squares of black and white poster board that

I’d cut by hand the best I could, and good enough; I knew some tricks.


I copied the letters from a Montessori book because I wanted

to make them just like the school; the one we left behind

with our friends and your favorite Chuck E Cheese

for the hell-heat of Texas, just in time for everything to fall apart.


I gave them away, the letters, and yes there were numbers, too,

when you were reading well, when it was well past time.

But my fingers recall the dedication, and the knuckle skin lost in the quest

for no sharp edges, convinced your love of language was at stake.


Yes it was overkill; I often mourn my perfectionist’s lost time, but I’m

different now, and even with aching knuckles I can still trace the sharp edges

of my mistakes and the confidence I wore like skin that I would always

be there when you needed me to smooth your edges too.


~ Liesl Dineen 2015


  1. rachellmacaulay

    This is beautiful. Simply beautiful.

    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      Thank you so much.


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