Telephone Lineman And the Idea of Poetry
The old pole, fallen hero,
weather-blackened and finally brought low
by one last late-winter storm.
Now, the lineman poised
thirty-five feet in the air
atop a shaft of Southern Pine,
(I study him from my kitchen window)
remaking the matrix of telephone line.
Eye to eye with the crests of maple and oak,
how far, I wonder, can such a man see?
Is he attuned to possibility, would he
catch the word if the March wind spoke?
His gaze is brimmed with shadow
but the sun stars his plastic crown.
Calling in to Central, he punches the code and,
across the neighborhood, every telephone
rings at once. (They never taught me so
at college, but this too is poetry.)
A gust strums the undulant wire.