"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear English Teacher

Dear Mrs. Masoni,
To whom I’m writing an apology
for all those jokes I made about you in school,
about whom I said hateful things
Something happened that year
I’m not sure why….
I decided not to be an English major.  What was it?
Your mouse brown hair, permed into a small tuff?
Your small brown vests and dresses?
Your owlish eyes magnified by thick eye glasses?
Your wrinkled mouth always perched in an O?
Who or how must have been your only questions
to maintain such a birdlike look of surprise.
I’m sorry Mrs. Masoni, to whom I was rude.
Mrs. Masoni, who I understand now-- how well you taught us
The Odyssey of Oedipus, of Sophocles’ Cave,
fifteen S.A.T. words every week for thirty two weeks.
It must have been those agonizing stories--
Stories I had to write, memorize, and rewrite
made of those intangible SAT words,
“Spelling counts!” you'd coo
every Friday when I wrote about a capricious princess,
or a frog prince who became incapacitated.
I got a high score on the SAT’s .
I took them twice.
I won a scholarship to college
the college where I learned that
sometimes words are not enough
and now I am old with two children 
just my own--
who thankfully don’t look like owls,
but they probably make little who faces
in their sleep when
we discuss the Odyssey late at night
after the TV is off,
and they dream about a cave with shadows
and of little brown birdies.

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