How I Learned to Read


It was Thursday night practices
dusty basement that echoed
each note through the empty
stone walls of my church.

We’d have little books
of music in our hands
as about fifteen of us
would stare in the notebook
attempting to translate the
symbols into words and
match the pitch of
the piano player, or of
the kids singing on
a pre-recorded cassette

Slowly week after week
the symbols became words
and even the notes
became music. Our
ignorant minds were liberated
from disabilities of youth
slowly pushing our
way into maturity.

Then we would go out
in front of the congregation,
our high-pitched timid
voices would sing out the
words which now
I realize were actually


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