Saturday, January 21, 2017

Day 21: Tatay's Lesson

He asked me one morning 
as I rushed a paper for class
why I haven’t learned to type,
growing up in his shop 
with typewriters that arrived
missing letters, rigid strokes, 
that needed fixing
in a corner of his house in Pola, 
a town of bankers, lawyers, and clerks
who begged their babies 
jumped the line
for theirs were texts that needed to be set, 
filed in court, or sent far away.
He counted 
how many learned
from his machines
in the afternoons
learning rtyu’s to fghj’s
soon after they’re chasing the quick brown fox, 
the rhythm of clickety clacks and bings 
replacing the stoccatos in which a beginner starts,
That was thirty years ago
and Tatay left;
how would it fascinate him to know 
Liquid Paper is gone
with auto-correct.
Yet on a Macbook,
God bless his soul, I worry 
about letters on the
screen neat and clean, and
regret it might be late
to learn where the “z” is
without looking
a written word
on a moment’s thought
just by touching.

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