Tracey Erin Finnerty
|PASSING THE REGENTS
| I want to be the fish
that stares up at the white
feet of Billy Collins walking across the Atlantic.
Where is he going with his stuffed attache case and
Holden Caulfield hat heavy with mist?
The lighthouse beam swings around again for a glimpse.
Ho! Our hero, like a good poem, has
traveled a great distance to find you.
Will you invite him in even though he is soaked, sure to
leave a foggy halo on your dining room chair?
Are you willing to stay up until the coffee burns, until
the story of the dog you lost becomes clear?
Probably not. You are young, know little of love and
less of death. What can I do but teach you to pass the
English Regents the first time around?
Years from now, the night your mother dies, you will
find the complimentary pen the barefoot stranger left
and love yourself for the first time.