Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Seeing And Believing
Seeing and Believing
The girls giggled
but the boys laughed right out loud
when Mrs. Stone raged crimson
holding my eighth grade project:
"The Map of New Jersey."
"Get up here, boy!"
and I had no choice
but to walk the gangplank to her desk
where my map choked in her fist.
"What’s this jazz? Huh?
The ocean is not green, Bub, it’s blue.
Ya’ get it? Blue, blue, blue, blue!"
punching my map with each word into my chest.
My classmates roared a chorus
of "Green ocean! Green ocean!"
their voices rising in waves of laughter
as I carried the wrinkled and ripped map
back to my seat through their sneers.
Soon, all their maps perimetered the room
leaving me adrift in the memory of a Sunday
when, in the October air,
my father and I walked over seashells
and I, only nine,
remarked that the ocean looked green.
My father, peering out from beneath his cap,
said, "Yes, it does" and his fingers swam
through my hair.