The pen scratches and the clock ticks.
The keys on a keyboard clack.
My head is heavy, like that of a brick's.
The refrigerator hums. I think of
a childhood memory where my mother
made me rehearse the spelling of this word.
I slowly etched it in the smooth paper
with my blunt pencil. My tongue
held the top of my lip for comfort.
I picked the sheet up in my hands,
loudly spelled the word and gulped.
The examiner smiled in surprise.
The refrigerator saved me.
In an entrance exam meant for
I've always wondered why it had no D —
while the colloquial FRIDGE did.
Was it perhaps to confuse me?
Questions linger. Cold as ice.
Melt away when the sun shines bright.
Is the refrigerator a hiding place?
For keys, spectacles and a bulky wallet
full of cash and cards? Bits and bobs?
Accidentally swallowed. Moving down my gullet.
I won the district level spell-bee competition
when I was seventeen. The word CLICHÉ
saved me this time.