Friday, August 20, 2010

Hoofs in Snow
for Rosetta Haynes

made some steps upon the campus in snow
Rosetta and I, I desire to continue even if alone

wrote erotic about her
demeaning her - insulting to her - not about her

conceited to be insulted
to assume herself the subject

does me, does poetry a disservice
to have responded as she did, as she has, as she does

blamed, it seemed, her not being awarded
the Rhodes Scholarship for which she'd applied
upon me, upon poetry, upon our friendship

or is she not speaking to me because she recalls
as I recall, her being shocked
that I'd gathered clothes she'd left in the dryer drying

when they were dry, when she had not returned to collect

what was rough, what was delicate
what was neither rough nor delicate

seat of one panty, after washing,
stained still with period blood

this and what else does she hold against me
from all those years ago at Fisk

found her recently and recently before that
a professot at a university with a PhD

sent a message, sent another, she ignored them
ignores me or were they not received

she used to follow me- would follow me innocently,
naive as brilliant as she was
was I brilliant too

she was about the smartest student on campus
majoring in Maths and English with a 4.0 average
as well, she was the fastest female at Fisk, a serious athlete

we wandered onto Vanderbilt's campus one week-end
one Saturday - crossing that campus going to Kinkos
to have copies she needed made -
crossed it returning to our own campus again

relying upon me to lead her, to lead the way
for a minute or for four, I mislead her, mislead us
realized it and turned
and there were her footprints and mine left
in freshly fallen snow, going the wrong way

I'd like to pick up where we'd have left off
leave fresh tracks in fresh snow

old blood in bloomers, in bikini seat
am I being blamed for looking, for seeing
what I happened upon

© Obediah Michael Smith, 2010
6:35 p.m. 11.08.10


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