"Trampoline"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 4 2003 11:28 AM

Trampoline

Listen to Joshua Weiner reading this poem.

The kids next door who bought it for their mom
.......................on Mother's Day—a joke?—
play it like palms on a marching drum,
.......................a rhythmic coital creak
..............that carries clear across the open yard
to call my son like a Barnum top-hat bard.

He runs out in his socks, my turn, my turn!
.......................They haul him up so he
might bounce and stamp and lift his legs to learn
.......................how little one can weigh
..............up there, the moment when the body peaks
and hangs, becoming what the body seeks:

weightlessness and weight; self launching beyond self;
.......................before the theory, fact.
Yet as he flies, he drops down like a leaf
.......................the earth tries to give back.
..............He tumbles, caught at last in the canvas sheet,
then feels again through socks the warm concrete.

Joshua Weiner's latest book of poems is From the Book of Giants. He teaches at the University of Maryland, College Park, and lives in Washington, D.C.

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