Metrical Friday: ‘First Grade Homework’

First Grade Homework
By D. Nurkse

The child’s assignment:
‘What is a city?’
All dusk she sucks her pencil
while cars swish by
like ghosts, neighbors’ radios
forecast rain, high clouds,
diminishing winds: at last
she writes: ‘The city is everyone.’
     Now it’s time
for math, borrowing and exchanging,
the long discipleship
to zero, the stranger,
the force that makes us
what we study: father and child,
writing in separate books,
infinite and alone.

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