Sep 6, 2016

My Son’s an All-Star Speller

Written by Maceo J. Whitaker

Read by Aran Donovan

My son’s the baddest lad in Sunnyside, Queens.
My son roughed up not only honors kids but also

the honors teacher. My son still pulled an A.
My son hopped the turnstile to surf on the E-

train to Rego Park to Kew Gardens to Jamaica +
back. My son does not spit sunflower seeds.

My son spits sunflowers. My son spits suns.
My son has a firm secret handshake

named EARTHQUAKE that takes Flushing Creek
waves down the Atlantic to Neptune,

New Jersey. Turning spumes on fumes, my son
hawks fake gold spoons from womb to tomb

then schools his foes on who vs. whom.
At the spelling bee, his adversary Jimmy Roe

(all pomp) nailed psoriasis + sarcophagus
but fumbled a gimme: “sacrilege.” My son

stepped to the mic + spelled vivisepulture.
Vivisepulture (n.): the act of burying alive.

My son put Jimmy Roe in a viselike headlock,
then mock-vivisepulture position before releasing

the runner-up from his clutches. My son won
the spelling bee; he won bullying; he won empathy.

My son can spell awry, rhythm, + ukulele, + —
oh, most definitely — he can spell trouble.