“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,”
he began each trig class. Unflappable.
Mr. Thurston, with his silver hair
and military bearing – always in coat
and tie, could have stepped out
of a 1930s movie. The butler.
There I sat – the lone girl surrounded
by teenage testosterone. He often told us,
“When you become an engineer…,”
as I glazed over. So I’m glad I was paying
attention the day he asked, “Does anyone
know who Firpo was?”
Firpo was before our parents’ time.
A long pause.
“He was a boxer,” I answered.
I cared nothing for sports, but I did know
a thing or two about art.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She became fascinated by fine art at an early age, even though she had to go to the World Book Encyclopedia to find it. Today she visits museums everywhere she travels and spends time at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, where her husband is a volunteer guide. Alarie’s poetry book, Running Counterclockwise, contains many ekphrastic poems. Please visit her at alariepoet.com.
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