Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 4
Fall 2011

[Two Poems]

Perie Longo

Ms. R’s Introduction of Visitor To Her Second Grade Class

Children this is your 
how do you want to be called
poet lady who’s been around
long before any of us 
Manuel stop making faces
Sit down Juan she likes boys
and girls who are polite
Melissa not so close
not on the poet’s feet
she needs to breathe
she’ll need to stand up to write
When did you begin
making poems 
we make poems
we’ve actually been practicing similes 
no not sinsies Raquel 
things using like or as 
Mila put your tongue inside your mouth
Dwayne no throwing Star Wars men 
the world is troubled enough
you could poke the poet’s eye out
then where would we be
right back to quiet reading back to the corner
I don’t know why she’s here
they’re yours


The End

small children, when they write
their small poems with great effort,
d’s and b’s blurring
either side of the stem,

always write “the end”
when they’re finished
(done with the task. no more
to say).

World becomes word
wobbling along with its smudges.

My bog has a tail
	like a propeller. the end

My bad is always sleeping
	on the sofa—
		the END

Pedro smiles my last day,
the skin on your wrist
is soft like a petal,

his goodbye on my wrist I think
I will take to the grave.

	Till then, I’m happy in this word
	with my little guru and his friends

who treat the end
as common as something that comes
before something else—

	recess or lunch,
	running into your mother’s arms,

		waking up your bad and the bog
		with its propeller tail.

—Previously published in My Song Is a Light,

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury