In a long ago classroom, physics was invented
by a bald teacher carved from rocks and clouds.
He stepped from behind a podium and bid us
join hands then took the spare of the first boy
(Aaron? Abbot?) and touched a gold orb
as belts whirred and we gaped, hair
raised on every head but his.
In great lessons, we often retain
only the image of a thing—a throng
crossing a bridge in Alabama or a ring
of cynical slouchers, staring, altered
possessed for an instant, exhaling as one.
Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Bellingham Review, and Lake Effect. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press (2015).