Once a girl came knocking

Once a girl came knocking wanting

a priest but got me:

Would there be, were I to,


hell for my plate?


Who are you, why would you

ask me this thing?


I’m forlorn, twice gone, thrice ripped and stillborn –

and I would go.


Go not, promise please,

to this place that’s not there.


But go, she went, brief girl to the fair.


This is not about what happened,

of which I have no right to speak.

It’s of reading of it in the Green Hall

psychology library, where I

checked out books – and of seeing them

in-between, the theater students in gym shoes and

flip-flops, walking up that mountain in May,

tired from the night before.

It’s about knowing first-hand how weather changes

and how big a mountain is – bigger still

when you need to get off. And not knowing,

but yes, knowing even that, how it is to be a

teacher unraveling after rational plans,

jumping up and down in the snow.

I still see at night the two lying talking

in the cave, that world of ice that keeps us warm.