Anne Stevenson

1933 / Cambridge,

A Surprise On The First Day Of School

They give you a desk with a lid, mother.
They let you keep your book.
My desk is next to the window.
I can see the trees.
But you mustn't look out the window
at light on the leaves.
You must look at the book.

A nice-smelling, shiny book, mother,
With words in it, and pictures.
I mostly like the pictures,
some of them animals and birds.
But you mustn't look at the pictures.
You don't ever read the pictures.
You read the words!
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