Yesterday I sat at the table all day and labored through every paragraph of every page of a forthcoming novel, trying for the many-eth time to get the timeline perfect, and then I got up this morning and did it again. If Micah disappears on Wednesday night and Sesame starts looking for him on Thursday morning and winter break is a week from Friday and the weekends don’t count then how many days will it take for blah blah blah blah blah. Scratch paper and pen to my right, calendar to my left, stuck in the middle with my own inadequacy.
Why are timelines so maddeningly difficult for you, Alison? Shouldn’t you be better at them by now? Just how hard can it possibly be to count up the days and make them fit? Very, apparently. This is when I turn for help to this poem, which floats through my head at least a few times a day, written by a little boy who wanted to be good someday.
Abraham Lincoln, by Abraham Lincoln, age nine
his hand and pen
he will be good but
god knows When