still learning

Growing up 
Was like fighting my way out of a ball of yarn 
Warm yarn. 
Loving yarn. 
Intelligent but myopic yarn.
Lutheran yarn. 
German Lutheran yarn. 
Eventually, bits of German Lutheran fuzz all over me, 
In my eyes, in my brain, 
I got out: 
Stranger in a strange land. 
I tried to assimilate, to learn the local ways. 
I made faux-pas, embarrassing ones. 
I accepted wooden nickels. 
I did things you wouldn’t do. 
Nothing evil, just — dumb. Rookie mistakes. 
But as far as I know, this is my first time 
in this world, so.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Lynne Rae Perkins

Lynne Rae Perkins won the Newbery Medal in 2006 for Criss Cross. Her next book is At Home in a Faraway Place (Greenwillow, 2025).

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