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A Tribute to the Penguin-Men Among Us
Stephen Anderson

who huddle around watching their young ones
take to the ice like the wobbly creatures they are 
at outdoor school rinks now lent to these
bundled-up fathers who shift from side to side 
and huddle together to stay warm like
looming Emperor Penguins, 
while dutifully standing vigil for their 
offspring who careen wildly but then 
glide like pros for up-to-seconds-at-a-time before
spiraling into impromptu, shaky pirouettes 
that cause the men to gasp from the sidelines, 
then fake-skate with their shoes
over to the crash site where they whisper 
their concern and, upon further triage, 
encourage their fallen angels to right their little
skates on the ice, to again take on the 
wintry reality of the late afternoon, 
with their chins held high to the glory of
the Penguin-Men in attendance.
This poem first appeared in New Purlieu Review. 
Used here with the author’s permission.

Stephen Anderson's prize-winning poetry has appeared in numerous print and online journals and has been featured on the Milwaukee NPR-affiliate WUWM program, ?Lake Effect.” He is the author of the 2006 chapbook, The Silent Tango of Dreams, and several of his poems appeared in the collection, Portals And Piers (2012). In the summer of 2013, six of Stephen?s poems formed the text for a chamber music composition entitled The Privileged Secrets of the Arch, which was performed by members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, an opera singer, and others. When not writing, Stephen enjoys traveling with his wife, visiting his two daughters and four-year-old grandson in New York City, bicycling, and trekking almost anywhere he can find a path.




Post New Comment:
What a wonderful picture you paint,Stephen! And I loved "glide like pros for up-to-seconds-at-a-time." Perfect!
Posted 01/19/2014 07:00 PM
I love the subtle, "upon further triage," that shows the "Emperor Penguins'" real duty--to protect their little "egg." This is a great poem with wonderful imagery.
Posted 01/19/2014 04:26 PM
That is the best run-on sentence I've ever seen! Hilarious!
Posted 01/19/2014 04:55 AM

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