When the gentleman at the podium
announced that the young harpist,
about to receive a generous
monetary award, had earned a B.M.
at a certain university, the old poet
came up short trying to stifle
an audible response, twisting his
rebellious mouth to a tight closure
while sneaking a side glance to see
if anyone else was contorted
with the same struggle as he,
newly turned 74, and still demonized
by aberrations of pimpled humor.
A retired teacher of English and photography, Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has poems in recent issues of Innisfree Poetry Journal, Hamilton Stone Review, and DMQ Review. New work will appear in Rhino and I-70 Review. A poem recently published in Poetry East will be featured in Ted Kooser’s weekly column, American Life in Poetry, in December of this year. His latest chapbook, A Day Marked for Telling, is available from Finishing Line Press.