Richard W. Halperin – On the Learning of the Death of My Teacher, Sears R. Jayne

Richard W. Halperin‘s most recent collections are Quiet in a Quiet House, Salmon/2016; and Prisms, Lapwing/2017. A new collection Catch Me While You Have the Light is listed by Salmon for Autumn 2017.


On the Learning of the Death of My Teacher, Sears R. Jayne

He used to chuckle.
Did he chuckle when
You took him?
We didn’t.

I do not know
How he felt when he died.
It hasn’t happened to me yet.

The brain can only know
Experience, it laps it up,
As a cow laps up clean
Or dirty water from a trough.

My teacher died.
There is more of me, and less,
Because of it.

My father and I talked once
About the meaning of life.
‘Why are there cows,’ he said –
It was not a question –
And chuckled.

It is impossible to tell the difference
Between a painting of a sunset
And the painting of a sunrise.

 

 

 

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