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Scrabble with E.B. White
Katie Manning


His mustache still
surprised me.   

I’d assumed as a child that E
was for Emily, but I smiled
and pushed seven tiles his way. 

He’d been dead for thirty years,
but I’ll play Scrabble with anyone.  

Runt. Ax. Child.
Loving. Win. Web.  

Our words were haunted.  

I first read Charlotte’s Web
when I was nine,
I said. 
I still love it. Do you enjoy it too? 

Yes, it’s a great story, he said, 
brow furrowed. Would you remind me
who wrote it?

Katie Manning is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review and an Associate Professor of Writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of four poetry chapbooks, and her first full-length poetry collection, Tasty Other, is the 2016 winner of the Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Find her online at