First Class

2 Nov


Life is a succesion of lessons which must be lived to be understood.

— Helen Keller


“Do something for me..”

he heard again her whisper,

a sunrise request

resting on the inward curl

of his ear,

her breath a memory

of a pulsing pearl

upon his temple.


First morning

pours through

a September window.

He pauses there

to sip from a warm cup.

Its humid cloud echoing

her half dreaming murmur

toward an ear now

prickling with

the effervescence

of young laughter

and the crisp

flip of papers.


“When they are quiet”,

she sighed,

“fly to me”.

His eyes half closed,

palm cradling the phone,

as if leaning left

could bring

the remnant ghost

of her mouth back

under the dark hollow

of his ear.


Row upon row,

he surveys cultivated lines

of earnest eyes

all lowered to look,

at tasks like parti colored

plastic flags

marking toward the race’s end.


Out through crossed panes,

the eastern edge of grass

along the brick walk

turns a mist shadowed corner


two hundred miles

of tar top,

over mountain

to a tiny courtyard


a window lies open,

a frame for

another house

of bent heads over books,

nodding in morning birdsong.


She pauses,

like a grey clad cardinal,

her hand grazing

the rough casement

freckled stone,

sun warmed

and sure

as the curve

of a five fingered wing

nesting inside

his own pocket.


“First Class” was written  August 26, 2014

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