The School That Never Closes

QUATRAINS

Come as they're given,
complete. Each line
a piece of reality
available to all—not

one more important
than any other,
capable of surprise
or reversal. Pleasure,

pleasing, whether
going forward or back.
Athletes dying young
and evanescent.

Jim Bodeen
18 June 2010


THE SCHOOL THAT NEVER CLOSES

We're in the car, Mom and I,
driving for an ice cream cone,
when the language slides
from her mouth, between her

forgetting disease and daily work
she struggles to bring to the surface,
Jim, you belong to the school
that never closes. Pulling the car

to the curb, I ask her to say again
what she has just said. I say her words
back, nodding at what she bestows
in ceremonial listening.

That's right, Mom. I accept what cannot
be given elsewhere by church or university.
I am free to do, and I belong
to that school that never closes.

Jim Bodeen
12 September 2009 / 5 June 2010


WITH THE  YELLOW SCHOOL BUS
AT INDIAN JOHN HILL REST STOP

50 kindergartners on their way
to the city zoo step off the bus
and walk single file with their chaperones
to the bathroom to pee and poop.

Jim Bodeen
3 June 2010