Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Orienting Response — Kevin Brown

You asked me to make lists—the five
future jobs I would want; ten countries
or cities where I would like to live;
five things I want to do one day,
skydiving, say, or watching tennis

at Wimbledon. I told you I found joy
in my job teaching tenth graders
American literature; enjoyed the ease
of access in a small town, with amenities
nearby; quoted Thoreau on traveling:

As travelers go around the world and report natural objects and phenomena, so let another stay at home and report the phenomena of his own life.

Whenever we would eat in restaurants
with televisions, I would try to avoid
facing them, distracted by sports I
could not care about.  You explained
the evolutionary mechanism that allows
us to know where we are by watching
moving objects.  You told me about

another job in another city; another man
at some point was implied.  I helped
you load your U-Haul, watched you
wind down the country road you
complained was too quiet for you.
I knew just where I stood.

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