michael hogan

Rookie - 130 Points (July 14,1943 / Newport, Rhode Island)

Resistance - Poem by michael hogan

Sunday morning and the boy walks to church, self-contained and insular as a tank. His corduroys whistle, his Buster Browns squeak, his face gleams like a Simonized Chevy. His father tips a straw hat to some ladies passing. His mother's Daily Missal is crammed like a country churchyard with In Memoriams. The sister is fresh, perfect as an Easter lily or the structure of a DNA molecule.
Between the sidewalk and the street is a strip of grass. It extends along the length of the walk but is cut unevenly, being mowed in sections at different times by homeowners whose parcels it borders. Here the grass is dry, powdery as plutonium. There it is green, smooth and lush as the felt on a pool table. Or here it is high the way rye grass is high in a vacant lot.

The boy observes these things. He sees the ants cluster around a Popsicle stick, how they bunch and spread outward like a mixture in a centrifuge. He watches the bees flowing like electrons among the clover. Then his mother turns abruptly. 'Would you please walk on the sidewalk like a normal person! '

He walks on the sidewalk.

They move on past the rectory and the brown house on the corner, headed toward the church. The boy follows close behind, listening to his mother's spiked heels striking the pavement. Suddenly, he raises his right arm, thrusting it out like a spear. 'Sieg Heil! ' he says, stopping, bringing the heels of his Buster Browns together. Then he follows on, self-contained and insular as a tank.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2012

Poem Edited: Saturday, August 31, 2013

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