Robert K. Johnson
Born in New York City (in Elmhurst), I lived in several different places there but have memories only of The Bronx (off Fordham Road). Then my family moved out "on The Island"—to Lynbrook, where we stayed till I graduated from Hofstra (then a College). Several years after my wife, Pat, and I married, we, plus our two children, settled in the Boston area and have remained there (except for my daughter, Kate, who has lived in Manhattan for quite a while). I have been writing poetry since I was twelve (many moons ago).
For John Williams
Every time I entered
the office for a conference
with you, my graduate school adviser,
I turned clumsy. Dropped a book
my shoes treated like a soccer ball.
Or fumbled through our text's five sections
while the poem I wanted to ask you about
stayed hidden on some other page.
Worse, when we discussed the poems
I'd labored over till near dawn
for your Creative Writing course,
your scrutiny, spotlight bright, showed me
why the stanzas I had thought I turned
into swans were still ugly ducklings.
Now, a surge of sadness
flows through my body. Aided
by the advice from you
I gradually absorbed and applied,
whatever poems of worth I've written
were, like belated messages,
crafted only after the last time
that you turned off your office light
and darkness took your eyes
previously published in IBBETSON STREET
©2016 Robert K. Johnson
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