That Helicopter Kid

heli

There was this kid who stood at the back of the class

When I came to read my poems

And whenever I got boring he’d rotate

His arms like the blades of a helicopter

& the more I banged on the faster

His arms would whir

Until it looked like he’d take off

 

His teacher and the other kids paid him

No mind.

 

In the pause between poems he’d say,

You done yet?

And I’d say,

Almost.

And he’d say, Good and slow down.

And when I stopped, he’d stop.

The eagle had landed.

 

Whenever I do a reading I see

That kid at the back

His arms set to rotate.

It keeps me honest.

to Stand Out

stage

 

I was reading about Miss Jean Brodie

About her being in her prime

her ‘owning’ the stage

Of the classroom

With the forty girls sitting in rows

Looking and listening

 

& I thought

How much blogging is like this

How each of us

Performs on the platform of the page

Seeking to impress

to stand out

To make our ‘mark’ upon

The rows and rows of readers

 

& how one day

Perhaps

A fellow blogger

Will remember our performances

And memorialize us

As Muriel Spark did Miss Kay

 

 

 

A Move towards Empathy

big ballet

 

 

“You’re like Lee Chandler,” she said.

“Who?”

“Lee Chandler, the guy Casey Affleck plays in ‘Manchester by the Sea.’”

 

Jackson liked that film but he did not like Lee Chandler, the way he closed himself off from people.

 

“That saddens me.”

“That you’re like Lee Chandler or that I mentioned it?”

“Both.”

“The reason I brought it up is that I asked you if you’d like to see Anne perform and you said you’d give it a miss though I made it clear I’d like you to go.”

“I know. I’ve thought it over and would like to go see her perform.”

“Because you want to or because you’re afraid of being compared to Lee Chandler?”

“Both.”

 

It was a little late, Jackson admitted. It would have been better if he’d said so straight off but at least it was a move towards empathy. She would have to give him that.