Men as Trees, Walking
I learned early what that verse
meant, "For now we see as through a glass
darkly." My mother wouldn't buy me any
glasses because then I'd be a foureyes
maybe even play in the band like the rest
of the pansies, or like my father, polishing
his lenses, head bent, hands
before his face as if
praying, no football
hero. Teachers tired of my leaning
in from the front row, chalk dust in
my hair, begged her in notes: like the blind
man in the Bible miracle, he sees men
as trees, and trees as lime
jello. Going out for passes, I was
lost like the end of the world when
everybody running sees the sky but me.
The coach threw his hat in the dust, "Son,
have you EVER caught a pass?" I never
did, but when she gave in, let me have
my specs, it was like heaven, she even more
beautiful with wrinkles, people gross
as bears now limber as hickory, spare
as willows. And the trees, firmed up,
erect at last, were like emerald fish
with each scale whole and succinct,
as if they would never, ever drop a leaf
or a pass.
--- William Greenway
Send us e-mail


Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH