somewhere in my teens
i realized that there
were many voices in my body.
my every day, all purpose
voice was only one of many.
i started reading and reciting
poems inside my head,
using my inner ears to listen
to the hidden voice of the poetry.
i think i might have learned that
from my high school English teacher
Miss Clark.
one day i approached her desk
with a question,
“would you be so kind as to help
me with this paragraph?”
she looked up at me
with the brightness of the sun.
“what a wonderful way
to ask a question.”
her smile pulled my entire brain
into the knowing of the question.
as i walked back to my seat
i was embarrassed but delighted.
Miss Clark always tried to capture the imaginations
of the entire class
” look at this character. what kind of voice does it have?
would its voice be high or low
scratchy or smooth, hard or soft?
if your body was inside its body, how would you feel?”
and when i looked up at her, i would discover
she was gone
floating high above the classroom
laughing with the ceiling.
once when we were reading Macbeth
i looked up at Miss Clark’s face

she had turned into three witches,
“when shall we three meet again?
in thunder, lightning or in rain?
when the hurlyburly’s done,
when the battle’s lost and won.”
she was flying around the room
i wanted to join her flight
my body wasn’t ready