Tuesday Poem


Radio about a foot-and-a-half

wide swinging at his side.

Three boys abreast and one

has the radio playing loud rock

they talk to as they walk

past my house. Three boys

dressed in their style

of short jackets and caps pulled

down almost to their eyes.

They might as well be naked

boys in the hot sun singing

in a changing voice the songs

they like to hear. They might

as well be boys chipping rocks

into weapons or tools.

But they are only boys on the way

someplace. They have to be men

sometime and no time for idle

rambling to rock music unless

they take jobs in the outdoors

where they can still be boys

and dress to get dirty. They can

be boys underneath the culture

forever because some other man

will gladly take those boys

and chip them down into tools

or weapons or bake them into

the walls of his own idea

of empire.

by Eloise Klein Healy
from Artemis in Echo Park
Firebrand Books, Ithaca, N.Y