In kindergarten, I had to use the fat crayons.
The skinny crayons were immediately
crushed in my tight little fists,
leaving me staring at my ruined drawing
with scalding tears brimming
because the lines never turned out
the way I kept imagining.
There’s something about a fat crayon
that just doesn’t behave the way
you wish it would, defying the lines,
asserting its boldness across the page.
When you’re five, coloring with them,
you get moved to the “slow table.”
You know it is because your teacher said so.
Sometimes it’s just easier to stop coloring.
You take home half-finished artwork,
and each time you go back to school,
your hands feel so sadly heavy
and there’s a buzzing in your head
that drowns out the quiet voice
that used to tell you what to draw.
You start to feel the same heaviness
in your stomach, and you can’t help it.
You’re sick at school in front of the class.
As you start the solitary walk to the nurse,
you feel the tears burning but don’t let them go.
The nurse’s plastic-covered cot sticks
to your skin, making you sweat.
Staring blankly into the mirror on the door,
only seeing a tiny person who cannot fit
inside the carefully calculated kindergarten lines,
all unruly frizzy curls past her waistband
and hands that refuse to cooperate
and a clock that operates on different time,
you start wondering why God colored
your classmates with shiny skinny Crayolas,
but decided to draw you with fat crayons.