Middlebury

 

Walking First-Years To the Frost Cabin

It's our job to take you-three Judy's

the more-than-I-can-count Jasons--

up this dirt road to the Homer Noble farm

and beyond to his cabin. Another class

of first years newly arrived and this our school's

way of saying Now you're here,

dropped off from the couplets of your

parents and their lovely unpacking

worry. I know it will be hard to hear

those lines you have heard in high school

and could recite under your soon-to-be-

cried tears. Don't worry, we will say them

twice, because memory can keep

what you need and later play it back

to you. We've brought a recording of his

voice and ask you to listen in order

to think he is here, giving the gone-

by hay and rusty apples their first life

again, this time in the uncanny past

of a poem. Before they left, your fathers

and mothers said Write and call.

That's why we've taken this walk,

so you will have something to tell them

when they ask, when each of you realize

what this day has come to, that you were

here and they have driven themselves home.

MiddTags: