Monday, March 23, 2009

TWO POEMS by Nancy Simpson Dedicated to the Memory of Former Student, Dennis White

THE SHUT WINDOW by Nancy Simpson

Our handicaps are apparent
today in the sunlight.
When we come out of the classroom
to look at our shadows
we find our bodies are crooked, see
the spastic walk of our dark selves,
so we laugh and make a game. Shadow
proves to us there is light.

Dennis who is sixteen
wants to be a monster.
He lifts his arms and spreads his fingers.
With white chalk I outline the shape
of his body. The picture of the boy
stays etched on the pavement.

Afternoon sun through the window
of the classroom frames a silhouette
of leaves moving on the blackboard.
We listen but cannot hear the leaves
rustling. They are separated from the tree
outside the shut window.

Previously published in NIGHT STUDENT


for Dennis White

Remember the orange balloon
floating above the track field
at Cullowhee last spring?
How it stayed all morning
then passed on from view
while you dashed fifty meters
and won a blue ribbon.

There is life after death, Boy.
Old leaves rise from the ground, see them
rising above low growth and new pine.
Walk face into the wind and see.
A hood will not stay on your head.
My scarf comes loose, glides off
like something alive, flying
straight out of this world.

Previously published in The Appalachian Journal
and included in NIGHT STUDENT.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog is growing and growing and has such good reading.
I have just now read the two poems you dedicated to the Memory of Dennis White." You are right, these needed to be written! Enjoyed them so much. Glenda Barrett