Sitting on the floor, shoes
now off, I tuck my feet together
and rise straight up. Self-congratulation
falls all over me, a loud outfit:
no hands, no problem, 51-year-old!
The voice of Mr. Bridgeman, naming
that maneuver in gym class
forty years ago, recurs to me: This
is the Turkish Stand. Bridgeman,
who demonstrated moves like the dancer
he was even then, at seventy.
The vanity of addressing him,
now, with my thanks, hunches
me over; and, as if to demonstrate,
a sob stands up tall in my throat.
Michael Jones has taught in Oakland (CA) public schools since 1990. His poetry has appeared widely in journals ( Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Confrontation, DMQ Review, etc.) and in a chapbook, Moved (Kattywompus, 2016); new work forthcoming in Cream City Review.