Zbigniew HerbertJohn CarpenterBogdana Carpenter


How We Were Introduced

I was playing in the street
no one paid attention to me
as I made forms out of sand
mumbling Rimbaud under my breath

once an elderly gentleman overheard it
— little boy you are a poet
just now we are organizing
a grass-roots literary movement

he stroked my dirty head
gave me a large lollypop
and even bought clothes
in the protective coloring of youth

I didn’ t have such a splendid suit
since first communion
short trousers and a wide
sailor’ s collar