all saints' day
November dawns the cool side sunny,
and I walk to class thinking what I might suggest
to the eight young writers around the long, dark table.
I could point out once again that the walls in our room
are made of windows, that mountains are trying to get in.
Or I might say, "The soccer coach greeted me
in the parking lot in high spirits. His team is going
to the playoffs; his father, however, is dying of cancer."
Or I might say, "The Filipino maintenance man
asked me this morning what I am teaching.
"Shakespeare," I told him. 'Is Shakespeare in the arts?'
he asked. "Does he write opera? Is he an American?"
Or perhaps I could share my sorrow about the Korean
pitcher who lost a World Series game in Yankee Stadium
last night. It was midnight, Halloween, there in
Yankee Stadium, but for all of his countrymen
in Korea, it was two o'clock in the afternoon.
In Korea, it had been November for a long time
when the ball sailed into the stands and the pitcher
placed his black glove like a dark flower upon his face.
- "All Saints," Paul Willis