CONTENTS

SCROLL DOWN TO READ SELECTED AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES; or
click here to return to Beginning, or here to go to my Home Page; or, select one of these individual sketches: My Hospital, Birthday, and Birth Day // When I Stopped Clicking My Cup // Plow Horses // WWII: Faint Memories // First Flight // Photographic Memory // At Grandma Pratt's // Pets // They Had to Build Me a Room // Taught to Bathe // 1 Bathroom, 5 Women, 2 Men // There Were Worlds Under Bushes // I Stole from My Mother // I Saved My House from Burning Down // I Painted My White House Black // Slinky Made Me Do It // Ice Cream Memories // Observing Adults // Snow Tunnels // 1st Day at St. Columba // School Trauma // Second-grade Truth // Bee and Tongue Trauma // Appendicitis & I Love Lucy // Famous Big-Stick Ambush // The Ragman // I Loved to Climb Trees // Play War // My Glider Glided Forever // Front-Porch Marble Races // Knocked Out by a Calf, kind of // Threshing and ... // Riverbed Adventures // Take Me to the Fair // Lump // Bullies // Honeybee Invasion // Circus Watch // I Can't Sing // One-o-Cat // Coca-Cola Crime // Country Kids, City Kids // Flunk into Depression // Spring Break // About Football // Departing Child // Burden of Peace // Planner Defines His Job // Flipflops // Stolen Mayan Artifact // Comfortable Place: Hungary // Nicaragua 2000 // Prospects of Return // Good Day // Shirt-Off-My-Back // Eating Habits // Rubber-Band Boats //
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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Second-Grade Truth


Lake shore is curvaceous
through microscope and telescope.
Sword has two edges,
as does blade of grass,
as do rainy season and lover’s shoulder.
My years resemble my months
during this moment
when I puzzle
over excitement
and disappointment
in this group
in this place,
and I see a truth
that I often discover
because I often forget.
I see in a crosscut of my memory
a slice through an old group
of long-ago children,
schoolmates,
who are the like
of this group today
and countless groups,
elite and humble,
big and small,
entered and fallen away—
each fresh,
each unique
until the moment of disillusion
when I see forgotten truth
in slices taken
(statistician slices)
(intuition slices)
for intelligence and sadness,
for humor and athleticism,
for effort,
loyalty,
homeliness and beauty.
I wonder if I often forget my schoolmates
because I fear life will be dull if I remember.
Am I addicted to rediscovery
of myriad truths joining present to past?
I wonder if we train our scientists
more to not forget
than to discover—
leaving the fun of rediscovery to the rest of us.

This moment
I see selfishness and charity.
I notice they look the same
sliced across farmers, villagers, poor people,
across city folk, suburban folk, rich people,
across second-grade schoolmates
and graduate school colleagues.
I see lake shore is curvaceous
through microscope and telescope.
Sword has two edges,
as does blade of grass,
as do rainy season and lover’s shoulder.
My years resemble my months.
A profile of my distant day on a train in Italy
mimics ten minutes in this morning’s garden.
Despite these symmetries,
because of these symmetries,
beauty hides in place and moment—
to find and forget,
to lose and remember
with rainy season
and lover’s shoulder.




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