When young, I took you up one by one
Huge pencil in tiny hand
Unraveling a mystery I did not know to marvel at.
So many of you, each shape hard to hold, hard to master
Long left, long right, small cross for A.
I knew nothing of your history, of twigs in dust, of sharp stone on earth.
My tablet not of clay but of pulpy wood.
Nine of you in my name, four all the same, so easy
As if the secret of life is repetition in straight line.