Monday, April 01, 2024


When this poem germinated I was thinking only of vultures, of their long patient deliberations in the sky: the math teacher walked into it and surprised me. He was an ancient man who taught me calculus -- an amazement that still amazes.

A math teacher stooped in his pulpit walk:
as he turns he lifts one dull black tine
(a primary feather, like a sprig of chalk)
and slowly underscores the horizon line.

He is deliberate, hooded, ugly, sincere.
There is a beat (stroke of pen, sweep of oar)
in his blood-naked head only he can hear:
this is what it means for an old man to soar.

1 comment:

Dale said...

An earlier version of this poem popped up in my Facebook "memories," -- seven years ago today -- and I realized I had never blogged it. Cross-rhymed quatrains, a form I almost never use -- because when it fails it fails hard, and most (of my) poems fail. But I liked this.