“A Hard Lesson from Hirsch” by Cathryn Cofell

What did I know then
of the tenderness of poetry?
Head full of chlorine
and dripping boys in Speedos.
High school was elegy,
fashion and fractions,
spandex and goggles,
ass in the air on a starting block,
a coach who passed me in algebra
so I could rip 50 meters of watery space
in less time than it took to read Frost.
What did I know then
of the cogent of desire?
That coach should have flunked me,
left me to sulk in the library
where Eddie and I could be discovered,
flailing in the stacks.
Now, instead, I suffer the ghost,
Eddie’s rhythm a rock from a slingshot,
me a wild hare poised.
“You are a foreigner to yourself,”
he writes in chalk around me
and the young girls giggle,
this old girl too young.

Cathryn Cofell-Appleton, publishes poems, essays and emails to bad teachers.  She has her name on six chapbooks, a CD and a forthcoming collection, but no restraining orders.  Yet.

Read her poem “Fertility Specialsit.”

1 thought on ““A Hard Lesson from Hirsch” by Cathryn Cofell

  1. Amanda Banner

    Cathryn, I really enjoyed your poem! It is packed with rhythm and honesty, humor. Just what I needed this monday morning. Thank you.


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