Poetry - Autumn 2014

Why Does a Tall Man Write Poetry?

By Dick Allen | September 8, 2014


Because his head is constantly in the clouds,
and his hands have ten fingers. Because
things got to him early:
a Japanese garden on the edge of revelation,
lake mist,
hi, ho, the wind and the rain.  
Because his friends died young,
one sweetly, one horribly,
and for the words over and across,
Rumplestiltskin, cellar door, beatitude,
eggs and bacon.  
Because no tall man thinks of himself as tall
unless he stands beside a taller man.
Because he can see the dust on the tops of refrigerators.
Because he can reach the last cereal box on the supermarket’s highest shelf.
Because he is not a contradiction, an anomaly, an ambiance,
but a scarecrow,
that single tree at the edge of a Scottish cliff
no one can get to. Because, writing poetry,
the tall man can squeeze himself into a tiny corner,
walk without stooping in the lowest places,
speak of delicate without blushing,
and when he puts his hands on your shoulders,
he is your equal and you do not have to wince.

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