The little freckle-faces had graduated to manuscript in first grade. They enjoyed making large periods. Sister exploded, her chalk raging at the board. Her face was red as the new traffic light on Fairmount Avenue. Stop with the big dots! Her chalk flooded the board with dots, little periods. Not a big mark, not a circle, only a dot! Her shrieks sent little freckles into the air, as if the freckle-faces could pluck them back. The little freckle-faces would remember to make little dots.
Charles Trimberger is a retired psychotherapist. His writing continues his interest in helping readers to live within a poem. “Punctuation,” a prose poem, represents a learning experience by vulnerable children. He can still see the teacher’s tantrum, which he believes impeded his creativity. His family moved soon after the incident, and he was placed in a different school. Trimberger lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.