Today's poem is by Ingrid Wendt

                Our eyes perceive the world in the language of light.
                —National Geographic
TV special

Choosing what not to say when each word is a step in the dark,
sometimes takes too long and then there is trouble. No matter

that you, who always try to look out for their toes, try
also not to step on your own, a position

no longer in fashion, today the word is speed, it's leaping
into revolving responses like doors

no one need exit from, no one need hear anyone else. Oh,
how we admire the quick ones their verbal jujitsu, seeing it all in the flash

of a strobe light, flipping us over their shoulders like salt, for good luck.
Distortions? No matter. To be ready with answers even before

hearing the questions! Surely it's only chance that writing these lines,
not knowing where they were going, I took a break, turned on the TV,

saw a leap of proof to give me heart. And take it away.
And give it back again.

Studies with computers show what discus throwers take
on faith: force

is lost on the ground by not rigidly planting the feet.
The tortoise-hare principle, all

over again. Plato's
cave. Like trees in the forest,

our sturdiest words falling
on deaf ears.

Copyright © 2012 Ingrid Wendt All rights reserved
from Evensong
Truman State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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