Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Professor

His bushy eyebrows bustle beyond his steel rims
and hide a kind, gentle twinkle
that only years of intense patience
can produce.

His face, no longer the taut, supple, eminence
of wanderlust spent in keen years
of acumen and travel,
sags, but with joy.

And now, the jowls that come with
an age that bequeaths wisdom
to the listener
Are crowned with dentures
and a full head of silver, white hair
thick as the hedgerows in Normandy.

We sit there, discussing canons, confessions, and catechisms
Written long ago in the Rhineland in castles and fortresses
His ready answer to my every inquiry
Me, having been taught, having thought myself as learned
But not so! not so! Having no knowledge of them.
How did I miss?

His many enemies, we speak of "it" carefully....
The names they called him
They made her very ill.

Now, his hands cover his face like shields and blankets
in perfect extensions of gnarled twigs
"I miss my wife!" He cries aloud.
He cries there--aloud. I sit alone.
Alone, and wondering, what to do now?
We've shifted, this time.
It's not mentor/learner, but two pots of clay.

Seek silence and silence.
This is love, this is friendship. Say nothing.
Be this. Be this now. Get up! A hand upon the shoulder.

"This is my wife," he says. We're outside now,
in the yard of standing stones...
"This is not a shell. My wife is in there."
And he tells me of the resurrection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite lovely & heartfelt. Quite...