Someone had propped a skateboard
by the door of the classroom,
to make quick his escape, come the bell.
For it was February in Florida,
the air of instruction thick with tanning butter.
Why, my students wondered,
did the great dead poets all live north of us?
Was there nothing to do all winter there
but pine for better weather?
Had we a window, the class could keep an eye
on the clock and yet watch the wild plum
nod with the absent grace of the young.