jan 19 – “that day you were absent from fourth grade”

Friday  January 19    —  “to stand still and listen to the wind”

Last November 25 someone sent me this poem, acting on a hunch that the poet would capture my attention.  I place poems sent to me this way in a desktop folder.  Every now and then I can explore the language that readers place on offer.   Brad Aaron Modin, today’s poet, is new to me this morning.   Whoever sent his words blessed me.   Will bless you too perhaps.

Best to read the poet out loud, with pauses.

Right now both the morning sun and my clock tell me it is 8:20 am Eastern Time.   Have a blest weekend.


john sj

Today’s Post  “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade”  by Brad Aaron Modlin

Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,

how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark.

After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s

voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—

something important—and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted

Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,

and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.

The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.

And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,

and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person

add up to something.

Brad Aaron Modlin

Brad Aaron Modlin earned his MFA from Bowling Green State and his PhD from Ohio University. His poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Denver Quarterly, The Florida Review, Indiana Review, DIAGRAM, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, and others.

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.