A student asks if writing is emotional
in front of his whole school and he is ten
so I try not to look too easily impressed.
The last ten-year-old who made me cry
in public after reading a poem to the class
became a smart arse, thinking himself a master
for making the professional poet cry. He learned
nothing from me, too cocksure of his ability,
he never revised and failed at everything.
So I say, carefully, when I write I’m still a boy
staring at his shy shoes. Last month I watched a man,
chunks of his arm lost to needles, as he tried
to make a paper shrine with the leaflets left
on the outside window sill. All the people
on the inside of the glass watched his attempt
to hold something together
but when the wind collapsed his paper shrine
he walked away, and some people laughed
some people shook their heads
and some people pretended not to notice.