(Face time with Archibald MacLeish)
The first time (he said) was before she died.
I collected the plaque with remarks I thought
funny. We trooped next door to a
fancy-pants grill, and wiped our plates clean.
I recall how she gazed at me drily
past pink arctic char, her unasked question
Then it got faster (he grunted) –
awards, degrees, girls taking notes.
Professional sheen. Now (he flung
an arm), all that stuff on the wall (and turned):
don’t ask what matters till you get to the
language turns tigers: a steel spring coiling,
toothed and dangerous. Danger
Beltway Poetry Quarterly, January 2017