She wore khaki skirts that hit her boots mid-calf
and soft white sweaters accented with bold beads.
Her accent was from Boston but she had worked to
subdue it, and her voice was velvety, her words were pearls.
So every class was a thing of beauty.
It was autumn and she said: Leave your things and follow me!
Eighteen freshmen followed her outside onto the quad,
where she stopped in front of the oldest building and said:
Tell me what you see. We mentioned old bricks, ivy, a bicycle.
More, she urged. Search deeply.
We then described bricks the color of sangria and some
carnelian, some cracked and chipped, all proudly in place.
Ivy resolute, dusty in the sun. The powder-blue bicycle chained
to an old oak, initials carved into the bark in 1923. A ladybug
moving clumsily on lichen, a crow calling from a branch above,
the release of crow droppings into drying grass right beside
a rusty pocket knife. One blade open pointing to five concrete
steps down to a utility basement with a mustard-hued door.
Trapped there in shadows, wedged against cold angles,
the remnant of aged sheet music.
Excellent! said our professor. Do not miss
the symphony of your lives.
MLydiaM ~ January 2011
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