Dyslexia – by Devon Miller-Duggan


finally settled itself: how I was saved.

Noticed almost nothing about the world
beyond its wars and words I.
The stories my of father’s I remember
because heard him other people telling I.

Easy to say thing some here
about the men whose daughters never were
their audience sort of. It’s all just linen—rumpled,
splotched, stained, or bleached—
as winding-sheets it all ends up.

So, curled in the brown-tweed wingchair,
focused on the pages of my Louis Untermeyer
Golden Poetry of Family Treasury, illustrated
by Joan Englund Walsh—
pretended not to hear parents I.
Believed me.

Devon Miller-Duggan has published poems in Rattle, Margie, The Antioch Review, Massachusetts Review, and Spillway. She teaches at the University of Delaware. Her books include Pinning the Bird to the Wall (Tres Chicas Books, 2008), Alphabet Year, (Wipf & Stock, 2017),  andThe Slow Salute, Lithic Press Chapbook Competition Winner, 2018).

Artist Statement: I enjoy the ease of play between form and content, the ordered jumble. I see the daughter scanning poetry whilst secretly listening to her father tell stories for another’s ear. I think of that girl in the wingchair, book splayed open on her lap, tracing lines of poetry, as the letters shuffle and swirl on the page. In this moment, the girl is neither part of the printed world, nor is she part of the world of her parents. She is somewhere in between, and she delights in this secret knowledge.
Art: “Jewelry Box Ballerina,” 2019 (Lido, Italy)