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May 1, 1994
Vol. 51
No. 8

Questions of an Afternoon

      <POEM><STANZA><POEMLINE>Afternoon, in more ways than the dirty white clock on the school wall shows.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>What's that? Another town pillaged and destroyed in Bosnia?</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Good thing I'm safe here, separated by the depth of the Atlantic Ocean.</POEMLINE></STANZA><STANZA><POEMLINE>Moving—enough to cry, too little to slow down.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Sorry to pass you by, homeless man.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>I've got places to avoid going, people to avoid seeing.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>What's that I hear? Another boat full of Haitian refugees turned back?</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>It's comforting to know that I'm already secure in the home of the sometimes brave (and land of, among others, the free).</POEMLINE></STANZA><STANZA><POEMLINE>That homeless guy looked familiar.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>I'm going home. Gonna dream of some long-forgotten naivete.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Damn doorbell—“Yes, I'll sign for it. Thanks.”</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>What's that? Another violent riot in the city of angels?</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Well, at least I'm safe here, on the East Coast.</POEMLINE></STANZA><STANZA><POEMLINE>I wonder what those other young, lost people at school think of me.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>I wonder what that homeless man thinks of me.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Hell, I wonder what the mailman thinks of me.</POEMLINE></STANZA><STANZA><POEMLINE>Stuck in an elevator somewhere between the ignorant play of childhood and the often bitter habits of adult years.</POEMLINE></STANZA><STANZA><POEMLINE>What's that you say? In Boston another child's been blown away in the cross fire of gang warfare?</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Luckily, I'm safe here in this nice, middle-class neighborhood (where everybody's perfect and there are no such things as problems).</POEMLINE></STANZA><STANZA><POEMLINE>I feel tired. Gonna lie down on my bed and take in some soothing sounds.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>Sadness and happiness blur as always—respect for one, hand in hand with the ease of the other.</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>I wish I was a cat. To achieve feline eloquence, simplicity, and warmth!</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>('Course, I wouldn't mind the extra eight chances to discover purpose.)</POEMLINE><POEMLINE>What's that?</POEMLINE></STANZA></POEM>

      Noam Weinstein has been a contributor to Educational Leadership.

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