Caned

By Terese Svoboda Terese Svoboda
A stick, pared clean—no, a silver-topped
bamboo-with-dagger, class doubling as club,
the advantage of gravity lifted high
overcoming the disadvantage of poking ahead.

He demurs. Weakness either way.
A man should crush opponents with a word.
Naive, I muse, at your age. A cane
replaces the sole’s sensors, bolsters them.

Balance is a matter for the unbalanced,
he says, all nuance, accusing me, Lear-lover,
of too much. The earth is now close, I tell him.
A sharp look. I’ll walk, he says, without.

Source: Poetry (November 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Terese  Svoboda

Biography

Terese Svoboda’s fifth book of poetry is Weapons Grade (University of Arkansas Press, 2009).

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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