Friday Poem

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

In February’s stillness, under fresh snow,
two bright red cardinals leaping
inside a honeysuckle bush.
All day I’ve thought that would make
for a good image in a poem.
Washing the dishes, I thought of cardinals.
Folding the laundry, cardinals.
Bright red cardinals while I drank hot cocoa.
But the poem would want something else.
Something unfortunate to balance it,
to make it honest. A recognition of death
maybe. Or hunger. Poems are hungry things.
It can’t just be dessert, says the adult in me.
It can’t just be joy. But the schools are closed
and despite the cold, the children are sledding.
The sound of boots tamping snow are the hinges
of many doors being opened. The small flames
of cardinals and their good talk in the honeysuckle.

by Keith Leonard
from the
Echo Theo Review