Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Geography

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In this poem Marcia Brown, Portland's poet laureate, remembers the most dramatic 50 minutes of her eighth-grade geography class.

Geography by Marcia Brown

In eighth grade, Matilda
Savino held us in her thrall
by dangling
for 50 minutes of Geography
one loafer precariously
from her toe.
Right knee crossed over her left.
tiny skirt high on her thighs,
she let the well-worn loafer loll
back and forth, back
and forth, clinging
against physics
to her otherwise bare
and shapely foot.
Mr. Perkins couldn't keep his eyes off it
and forgot the names of continents,
while we all sat
in shocked, delicious anticipation --
waiting to record the seismic shift
of one shoe dropping,
then the other.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem Copyright © 2010 by Marcia Brown. Reprinted from What on Earth, Moon Pie Press, 2010. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.