“Think Before You” – a poem

Thanks to poet Gary Margolis for sharing his work. Gary says: “this poem emerged from my recent Winter Term Poetry Writing class. ”

Think  Before  You
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into  blossom.
James Wright

I had the last three lines
of his “Blesssing”
inked into my right triceps,

across from my heart.
So one of my students won’t
waste an afternoon combing

the stacks, searching for the book
a classmate refused to return.
For which he was charged an arm

and a leg. More than worth it,
he told me later when I felt relaxed,
sometime around midterms,

to roll up my sleeve, to flex
that skin so the lines
would break where they were

meant to. So he could read,
flesh-out I’m more than tempted
to write, what time will blur

and remove. What Wright wrote,
after he learned he had a little
hope left which was more

than enough time for him to walk
over to a fence, in view, I’m now
told, of a high window

another patient could approach,
could see those two Indian
ponies amble toward. As if

their loneliness was an apple
they could eat from his hand.
As if there was nothing

he didn’t know he could
give them. As if blood was his
barbed-wire ink.

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