The American Floor – Kip Zegers

The American Floor – Kip Zegers
The American Floor - Kip Zegers
The American Floor – Kip Zegers

Paper, saddlestitched, 24 pp
$6 plus s&h
1996, ISBN-0-932412-09-2

by Kip Zegers

As I walk home from the school yard
where others attacking baskets were twelve years old,
it is a robin-anointed evening,
lingering light on dinnertime streets,
flittings in still naked trees.
Days ago I’d heard only starlings,
jays with rediscovered voices, just arrived grackles
that gasped, clicked, croaked dry-mouth
strangulations, hushed now before robin’s
liquid, lilac song, engorged with April.
Privet, forsythia, antenna, magnolia
birth a music that is so frantic, sweet
and unconcerned with waste, limit or any caution
that I almost genuflect, passing with my worn
basketball. Myself again, a kid
approaching some spontaneous combustion
knowing nothing I could, or was free to, do.
How spring revved its hundreds of horses
and left me starting as it drove away, the swollen and unbuttoned dark
already in its arms.

Kip Zegers was born in Chicago and lives in New York City, where he teaches at Hunter College High School. The American Floor is his fifth book of poems.