Students, Tree, Lake, Daughters

It was like when two freshmen fell in love
And loved to read of the mighty earthworm
That slowly, slowly, remakes the earth,
Of Plato’s fear of the cave, the womb,
The place of touch.

They stop passing notes when I tell them to.
They love everything. So interesting!
Ah bliss.

It’s a dreamy April day.
A stroll stills the mind. I think,
Spring colors might penetrate and I could say,
Ah, this beautiful world, and me part of it.

The budding tree repeats in a cool lake.
The blue sky reflects its blue.
There is no throb in this stillness,
The trees branch and branch like capillaries
All through me, but do not throb,
For which I am grateful.

The reflection ripples.
Girl and boy pass eyes.
They will never need and not need language more.
They well never be more, or less, deceived.
Their notes are blank and beautiful.

On such a day as this, in a garden,
A squirrel perched on a stump and ate the
Heart of a blackbird, cradling
The carcass in its pretty paws.

You know your students’ hearts
According to your own.
You know one day, at a football game,
He will know her flesh is fat and that
Her womb spells terror.

They’ve composed for you, so
You know he has family values
And her mother is a drunk.

His mother gives her dishes for their first place,
Hoping it will be their last.
They will never be so pleased or touched again.

The girl, or some other girl,
Works hard to be the medical technician
Leading you down the hall to the still,
Miraculous landscape of your fatal heart,
The worst conclusion.

It didn’t last, of course,
But she has gotten over him.
She is married now and has two daughters.

Elizabeth Hayes

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