The failing student

May 3, 2017

Her tattoos, her way of pulling back her lips
the way a stallion does when he won’t take
the bit.
                  In the corner, last row she sleeps,
her nose ring, low cut shirt—
                                                          as I talk
on about Wordsworth, trying to unlock
the longing that is reading.
                                                   Oh, I can see!
I’m not blind; I’ve lost one of the flock.
Poetry she scorns and probably hates me.

Next week my baby’s crying, locked in my car,
where I’ve left the key. Seeing what’s amiss,
she stops and picks the lock with a coat hanger.
I thank her and we stand together, wordless
at some brink where kind meets better kindness,
where I see I need a better blindness.