Remember judge and you shall
For laughing in school, for being
Stupid and always wrong.
Penance like the scent of the sheep
Is slow O' weary, its coat
A kind of fluff that goes up
In filament theory.
Your own life ahead follows you
Like a scientist posing as a shepherd.
About this Poem
"This is a brief meditation on the way we believe we have escaped our negative acts, until later, when we realize much of our life has been a kind of penance for those acts. Science believes it has the answers to such personal mysteries, but I wonder."
About Fanny Howe
Fanny Howe is the author of "Second Childhood" (Graywolf Press, 2014). She will be teaching at Brown University in the fall of 2014.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
(c) 2014 Fanny Howe
Distributed by King Features Syndicate