National Poetry Month

Another reason April is so cruel
matters most to teachers daring to
bring a poem into class after
checking their email or visiting a website full of them.

I try to read a poem to my students
but see them in the corner of the room
searching laps, doing one of two
things, neither of which should be done

in public, I tell them once a week, but
someone else in the middle is asleep
and all the ones who stayed awake long
enough to hear the apple drop, witness

the nightingale’s raining voice, or know
how long & vacant evening lies
are also those who stay behind to talk
and in their talking tell me it was Deep

but do not see them let it dance or dance
with it to whatever depth is charged
or by what apparition in their mind
someone they once were is who they are.

Too deep from their slanted shoulder tone.
But consider what is deep is only
deep to us who live so far away
we watch it. I head down stairs through many layers.

Andrew Deloss Eaton

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