An alphabet poem, written by me, in honor of Back to School:

Lines and squiggles,

Made twenty-six ways,

Turn into words,

Before our gaze.

Hooray for the alphabet!

Do you remember when you first learned your A, B, C’s?

I remember printing with a fat red pencil in first grade. We’d do a whole sheet of  just one letter.  I can’t recall if we did the capital letter and the lower case letter on the same page, or did we learn all the capital letters first?

I can still smell the smooth, off-white paper with the blue solid lines and the dotted lines. And I loved the stickers we’d get when we showed the teacher our finished page. She (or we) had to lick the sticker to make it stick. Imagine!  I really did go to school in the dark ages.

But if you  want to wrap your mind around an amazing concept, ponder those lines and squiggles and what they mean to our lives.

Without the alphabet, there would be no sharing of thoughts on menopause.

Without the alphabet, we’d all have to gesture.

What crazy theatrics that might make, if we could only describe The Great Pause through gestures.

Thank you, alphabet!

And here’s a fun question:  Do you have a favorite letter?

I like lots of them, but at the moment, I’ll choose K. My maiden name started with a K, and K kicks herself out and shouts, “World, here I am.”

Photo: Essie (Esther Hardenbergh) stitched this sampler at age ten in 1925  in Minnesota.  Essie certainly mastered the alphabet (and numbers). She earned a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard, quite unusual for a woman of her time.  I bought this treasure at a charity auction here in Hillsborough, North Carolina.




Barbara Younger

Barbara Younger blogs from her home in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Along with Friend for the Ride: Encouraging Words for the Menopause Roller Coaster (, she writes books for children and adults. She lives in an old house with her husband Cliff. and collections of everything from dolls to buttons to bookmarks. She's the mother of two grown daughters and the grandmother to one adorable baby boy!

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