So I Took My Students on a Walk
Today I was so happy I made this poem— 
                                                                                                                            James Wright


The 8am sun was still horizontal,

East, a blessing behind one oak

& across the roof of a stone cottage

dappling the grass, the moving cars,

the would-be truants, & the tardy poets

making their way away from classroom bars.


They made it past a departed robin,

a faculty parking lot, begrudgingly,

a poster for a cat: missing, a week gone

& still tacked hopefully to the power pole,

next to a sprinkler rain dancing to a metronome’s beat,

& finally around a tennis court of peers, performing.


By the time we made it to the school’s front doors,

the experiment had run its course

but plastered walls & artificial light threatened us,

so in a garden that courts the library

they sat, mostly motionless, near a two-fish pond

& gathered meditatively & beyond their years.


There, their silence made this poem, a blessing, never intended.






                                                                                           William C. Patterson