You've learned a lot of things in life, like one
plus one is two, or how to play a game
of tic-tac-toe. You've learned to write your name.
To cut your fingernails. To jump. To run.
To leap. To tie your shoes. You've learned a gun
is dangerous — like truth. Like lies. Like shame.
Like pride. At night you've learned you can't disclaim
the moon, by day you can't disown the sun.
You've learned the words which you erased were not
erased, and all the pages you had burned
survived the fire. You've learned there is a bar
of soap you cannot use. You've learned to dot
an "i" and cross a "t." You've also learned
you can't deny you are the man you are.
If you have any comments on this poem, Yakov Azriel would be
pleased to hear from you.
Yakov Azriel's fifth book of
CLOSET SONNETS: THE LIFE OF G.S. CROWN (1950-2021),
was published recently by Sheep
Meadow Press. Several
of the sonnets were published pseudonymously in Snakeskin.