One of the better writing prompts Adirondack Center for Writing released during the pandemic was “write a letter to your favorite letter”; my mother-in-law responded with a sweet and funny ode to the letter E. I incorporated the prompt into a writing project for class, using Eleanor’s essay about E as a guide. I also wrote my own letter to O and shared it with the sixth graders in the early fall:
Oh, “O”! I’ve loved you for so long. I appreciate how we can insert a heart in your place and it works, especially for the word L♥VE. The fact that you team up with another O to make so many cool words, like COOL and poop or goop and then there’s the different sounding team for book, look, and took. Cows wouldn’t sound like cows without you, the spring prankster would fall flat, and an autumn month makes you say “Boo.” Even if you’re on your own, you make new sounds: plop, slop, drop. Since we’ve already talked about the bathroom, you know they go to the loo in London, too.
I see you everywhere, of course. You’re a circle, a sphere, a spot, a ring. I often find you in the clouds or lounging on a tray in the doughnut shop. You’re the leftovers from an insect’s lunch on a leaf.
Sometimes you’re in the steam on a mirror, a mark on the table left by a glass or a mug, a loop in the sap line, or a coil of climbing rope.
When you’re working, places are open and you step aside when it’s time to close for the day. I thought of you while I dragged the mop across the floors at the end of my shifts at the market this past summer. Soon, I hope to see Orion when I step out into the night.