wrote a love poem once, the subject you,
prompted by the discovery
of the warmth you showed towards those who were kind to others.
This was long ago, we were getting acquainted.
Now you are at it again. Recently,
You went to a print shop to do some work
and a woman who worked there told you about a man
who comes in daily with the morning paper
to enlarge the crossword puzzle and its definitions
to take to his old grandmother, losing her vision.
When you told me this, you said, pressing my hand,
"Maybe the world's not so bad after all."
seems so perfect in many important respects,
But there is that thing about beats, does she or
leave them out or maybe put them in.
So I chose a tricky song, All of Me.
she said she knew it, so I said, "Let's sing it together."
The first lines went very well. All of me,
Why not take all of me? We sang, smiling.
After those lines, there were a number of beats
before the next line started. I used my thumb,
resting on her forearm, beating time.
The start of the next one had to begin precisely
on the seventeenth beat of the song. Can't you see...
When that time came, we both sang it together.
She didn't start ahead of time or late.
She was perfect. I wanted her to be my girl.
Sargent's poetry has been published in many periodicals, including
Antioch Review, New York Quarterly, Sou'wester, Poetry East and
Poetry. He has eight books, Now Is Always the Miraculous Time (1977);
A Woman from Memphis (1979), second printing 1981, second edition
1988); Aspects of a Southern Story (1983, second printing 1987);
Fish Galore (1989); The Cartographer (1994); Stealthy Days (1998);
The Jazz Poems of Robert Sargent (1999); and Altered in the Telling:
The Biblical Poems (2001). He is active in Washington DC poetry
affairs and has served as president of the Poetry Committee of the
greater Washington Area and president of Washington Writers Publishing