I start with a local paper
at my housebound neighbor’s kitchen table.
Universal, not the New York Times.
I read a clue out loud. I look at her. She shrugs back.
I read another. C + 4-Down? We both shrug.
Maybe I say you have to know the language.
We both laugh. I tell her news about my albino robin,
Harmony. It’s a distraction. I look down but he doesn’t fit
any clue. Smell or sight. This one I know, and it fits.
Hum, all this time and only one 5 letter word filled in.
Maybe if I read the answer key on the next page
when I can’t get one? If I do this often enough
will I catch on? We both laugh. Hum.