A student who has missed more assignments
than he has completed is standing in the doorway.
“Can I do something for extra credit?” he asks
as he slips off his backpack. I hate that question
and look out the window to avoid showing how much.
The trees have molted. A groundskeeper, a short,
sturdy man with a leaf blower strapped on his back,
is noisily waving the nozzle over the sidewalk
as if it were a magic wand. The student plops down
in the chair reserved for students. There are consequences
I must explain to him, charmed particles coming apart.
But not just yet. He turns his head toward the window
to see what I’m seeing – an incautious conjurer inspiring
the last ragged remnants of summer to get up and dance.
Howie Good is author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.