Monday, March 10, 2014

No Country for Old Men

"An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
 Soul clap its hands and sing, and
louder sing For every tatter in its
mortal dress "  (Yeats)

(varieties of presbyter experience)

He used to labor up the stairs wheezing
like Darth Vader & I knew I was in for
an hour of argument regarding a student
we’d bounced he thought unfairly—even
bringing the mother in to plead with me.

He vomited on the street in front of the
library one gray winter afternoon, held
up by his younger stalwart wife.

He would ramble on about his life’s work,
boring the students with personal anecdotes,
collapsing his course into a semester length
treatise on  ecology.

He would listen to the World Series, small
radio to his ear, as we discussed significant
changes in schedule, calendar, and core.

He would break wind regularly in our small
office in Carson Basement, me—mortified--
convinced our young secretary would think
I dealt it.

He would constantly explain “how we did it
at Coe College” as we turned over concerns
about required composition.

Old men with PhD’s we hired:  glad to have
them satisfy our SACS ticket punched  having
shed their shame-filters & nonchalant where
we were uptight  about devilish details shedding
a presbyterian aura over us Young Professionals
anxious to do it right and be no more a junior
but a regular fully accredited 4 year liberal arts
college and a mixed blessing no doubt.  Elders..  

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