Laugh Lines


             There have been episodes
             this late in my career
             (such as it has been)
             when I’m prattling 
             to a class about the
             misfortune Lear

             has pulled upon his head
             becoming old before wise,
             all the while distantly
             observing my students'
             minds elsewhere as mine
             as I blandly aphorize,

             (I’ve preached this homily
             till my face was blue)
             and I find myself suddenly
             breaking up laughing
             at the absurdity of it all,
             unable to continue;

             calling recess ‘till
             it passes and I can return
             to the serious business of
             speaking and purposing not;
             mindlessly assailing the inattentive
             to learn.


                                                                                     Paul Many