She always wants the same thing as her sister
for breakfast, and when I read a book,
she opens hers, turns a page, marks her place
as if she were spooning every sentence.
Her birth mother says she doesn’t want her
to go to the school for dummies.
Her class teacher claims she’s fearless
and a real trouper; he doesn’t fathom
her ignorance of danger.
When she tells me I’m so idiot,
I hear only echolalia and a child
so far behind she might be drowning.
We’re pulling her from mainstream
to the shallows where the current drive
to mark and measure isn’t so insistent.
The good news is we’ll never study
Of Mice and Men together; that’s both
too far a stretch and too close to home.
When we tell her, she’ll take fright
and slam shut all the doors left open.
We can’t imagine where she gets that from.