DALE GRIFFITHS STAMOS
 
 

overview published poems unpublished poems

S'échapper


"Ecoutez"
I say
and watch
or try not to
the gamut of adolescent expressions
ranging from boredom to: if I ace
this class, I'll tip the scale
from UCLA to Yale.
And though I focus on the windowsill
I nevertheless feel
the heat of Holly's face,
sullen, defiant
she does not want to be here.
And though she has no idea where she'd be
if she could choose
she can't,
so she sits safe in her disapproval
of me
as I sputter conjugations
prance, parody
and generally make a fool of myself, praying
I will keep intact
with the glue of my energy
the fragile coherence of twenty
sixteen year olds
who, in truth, want to fly fly fly
apart like electrons in an accelerator,
scattering to the far ends of their potential
where there are no
parents, no Ivy League schools
and certainly not any
French teachers
who drill them ad infinitum
on the difference between
the imparfait
and the passé composé

[Published in The Lucid Stone, Winter 1995]