Monday, 12 December 2016

poetry 2016 / 107

Remote Detonator
Newcastle University 1981

Astronomy for Engineers
became more complicated
when I shifted focus from the too-small blackboard
seventy feet and two stories down
to the Malayan girl in the row in front
ignoring the lecturer
to strip wires with a tiny knife,
connecting them one by one
to a tiny circuit board
no bigger then her finer.
This was the eighties
when we weren't afraid of Asians
only Germans and Catholics
who dropped pipe bombs in the windows
of Saturday afternoons
but watching those delicate, pink-tipped fingers
gave me an appreciation for dexterity
that lasted long after I failed the course
and turned to Art instead.

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