Learning the Shapes

April 1, 1998

Learning the Shapes - Poetry of the Times

Five students
wear short white coats,
pockets bulging notecards,
tuning forks, new stethoscopes.
Demanding consent
we snap on latex gloves,
smear index fingers with K-Y,
turn them over, spread them apart
and enter alone, one by one
to learn the shapes inside:
smooth chestnut, soft orange,
stone in a muddy field.
After wiping off the jelly
we wash our hands clean,
examining fingers sensitive
as a blind bluesman
who hears each note
an instant before
touching a tight steel string.
© CME LLC
4/98

Read more of Dr. Berlin's work.