The Window-Peeker Parses the School Marm
Though you’re unaware that you’re in my view,
as you sit parsing sentences, I’m parsing you.
And though you may find my excuse to be spurious,
I’m not lascivious. I’m only curious.
I peer through your window to discover a clue
if tight-lipped and buttoned-up is the real you.
I peek through a bush after climbing your fence.
Do you underline verbs and determine their tense?
No bushes or flower vines hamper my vision
to soften the view or to curb my derision.
Your life is as clear and empty and sparse
as the students you aim for and lines that you parse.
Every inch covered from your toes to your chin,
terry cloth robe. No booze and no men.
No bright colored pictures to cover your wall.
Not one detail to alter your image at all.
You sit at a desk looking tired and grim,
pallid and stringy and scrawny of limb—
essays piled to left and to right,
your strict narrow lips revealed in the light.
Everything minimum, like you have taught.
Strip sentences bare. Make them sparse, clear and taut.
Then you push back your chair, straight-backed and hard-seated
and seem to sigh. Is your patience defeated?
As you move to the window, a surge of past fear.
Have you sensed an old student is hovering near?
As you come to view the moon’s budding crescent,
I slip over the fence and become evanescent.