For Micha's Mother, Who Signs

By Robert A. Fink
It is not poetry you fear, but poets,
their indelible brand
of words. How will your daughter
escape the mark men hanged
young women for in Salem?
I am nothing more than a teacher,
like you. See, I have removed
my shoes and socks. I am rolling
my trousers above my ankles.
No cloven hooves. Long feet and toes
like you and your beautiful daughter.

It is language that has won
her over, earth-bound words
walking orderly across the page
like children holding to
the rope attached to your wrist,
teacher and students
traversing the noisy street
at the crosswalk, with the light
of your fingers composing
the line your children read,
each syllable's afterimage trailing
your quick passage of hands
conducting the boys and girls
safely from one curb to the other.

Source: Poetry (June 2002).

 Robert A. Fink


Robert Fink is the author of four collections of poetry: Beyond Where the West Begins (1999), The Tongues of Men and of Angels (1995), The Ghostly Hitchhiker (1989), and Azimuth Points (1981). He earned a BA in English from Baylor University and his PhD from Texas Tech University in 1977.
His poems have been published in various magazines and journals, including Poetry magazine, TriQuarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, New . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Living, Reading & Books, Parenthood, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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