and this belief began when I was a little girl,
and my mammy gave me connect-the-dots activity books
to keep me busy, and I did them so fast, starting at 1
and finding 2 as quick as I can, then 3, making fast lines,
never any gaps, all the way to the highest number, the peak,
the last point, maybe 47 or 53
but never above 60, ever, I think too many dots for the drawer
to put in between the lines, then onto the next page I go
until I do the whole book so I can
surprise Mammy by how fast I am connecting the dots.
Now wait, I’m thinking, back here at age 38,
why would the artist think there would be too many
dots if the number is beyond 60?
Of course, I didn’t know at age 5 that
a line has (or can have) an infinite amount of dots,
or that if I wanted to, I could have made
curves, squigglies, curlicues between dots,
and I’d still get the picture but it’d be more
interesting. I also didn’t know back then,
but yes, I’m realizing now,
is that even if there are gaps,
or if the lines aren’t straight, or if you happen
to miss a dot or go to the wrong dot,
you can still get the picture and it will still
mostly make sense (sometimes it won’t, not completely
or right away, but it will eventually), so yes,
there’s still a picture you can see.
I believe in Connect-the-Dots like other people believe
in Heaven and Hell (both are taught at a young age, yes?).
But I’m not so fast about it anymore.
Connecting the dots takes time, and sometimes
I redraw the lines over and over until there are holes in the paper,
until I can understand Why. And I still end up with a picture
I can see, a picture I can show.