‘Rithmatic, Readin’ and Writin’*

It’s in the course of studying
‘rithmatic, readin’, and writin’
that critical thinkin’ will tighten
and a student will be enlightened,

for in ‘rithmatic, two plus two
is always four
and then there is more and more
leading to algebra, geometry,
trigonometry and calculus
and all that Einstein gifted us
and so much more
that helps us understand the
universe and galaxies galore
in language and symbols ever so terse.

In readin’ one seeks to comprehend
and be able to think things through
to the end.
“Ah, I think I understand
this metaphor and that simile,
and I do love the joy that
reading poetry gives to me.”

And when it comes to writin’
a well diagramed sentence is enlighten’n.
Nouns go here and verbs go there
and in-between and all over the place,
there are combiners, refiners,
definers like adverbs, adjectives
gerunds — so many modifiers.
It’s hard not infinitives to split
and sometimes participles do dangle,
but keep trying and (pun intended)
you’ll get the hang of it.

Just the right word in just the right place
is justified in taking up the space;
a well turned phrase is ever, “all the rage,”
and sentences on their way to
paragraphs and articles and
perhaps a book will really cook

nourishing the souls of those
who read
and find their spirits
freed
to wallow in the wonder
of thoughts so “enlighten’n”

and all because of your
grade school teacher taught you
‘rithmatic, readin’
and writin’.

*for Ms. Harriet Allen,
my fifth grade teacher, who
without benefit of a “hickory stick,”
helped me learn and love the three Rs.

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