Childlike they pant
like after the longest race
they ever ran at age five.

They have graduated
to colored pencils from crayons.
Now they have white paper.

Next to their drawings
they write poems
without academic structure.

They clamor for magnets
and the refrigerator’s surface—
the pinnacle of their success.

During the week
their poems go unread
caged by the colorful drawings

instead of framed off-center
with illustrated clapping hands
providing the approval they crave.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney