She wanted you to look at things: a pile-up of clouds,
Sunset transmutations, ribs of boat-like magnolia leaves,
Intricacies or simplicities of shells, almost weightless
Outgrown June-bug bodies. Nature, in short.
Anything outside ourselves.
“Oh oh oh,” standing at the window, “Come look at the…”
But would I budge from the overstuffed uncomfortable chair
To give satisfaction? No, I was teenaged and experimenting
With irritation, angry she could more easily exhibit to friends
Her crystal prism sunned on the apartment wall
Than treat me as an individual ticket-holder,
Not the entire audience at a Chautauqua event.
Yet I liked lying on my stomach on summer grass
To part the blades with fingertips, following expeditions
Of ants and other insects. Some were amazingly enameled,
All constructed like an engineer’s dream.
Jonathan Bracker is the editor of Bright Cages: The Selected Poems Of Christopher Morley (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1965), co-author with Mark Wallach of Christopher Morley (Twayne Press: 1976), and editor of A Little Patch Of Shepherd’s-Thyme: Prose Passages Of Thomas Hardy Arranged As Verse (Moving Finger Press: 2013). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Northwest, Writer’s Digest, and other periodicals; in several small press anthologies, and in six small press collections.