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Spring 1985, Volume 2


Clarence F. Socwell

Clarence P. Socwell is an alumnus of Weber College, graduating in 1953. He is a widely known poet and has written plays, one of which was produced by the Weber State College theatre department. He was named Utah State Poet of the Year in 1977 and his book Intrinsic Tapestries was published. He is presently editor of Utah Sings an anthology of Utah Poets published every ten years by the Utah Arts Council and the Utah State Poetry Society.

Parable of Road and Bird

I asked directions once
where the hill fell sharply
and the road forked left and right.
When I stopped, a boy jumped up
from catching lizards,
his unruly hair matted with sweat
of the interrupted task
and heated noon.

He grabbed my hand
in answer to my question
and pulled me to the gray house,
a shanty withered by wind and sun.
Inside, his grandmother sat reading.
She laughed when the boy
told her what I wanted.
She stood up hugging me to her
like a son returning.

She told us dinner was ready
and put out good dishes,
a small bowl of potatoes
boiled in the skins,
a dish of greens,
and a little pile of bones and meat
directly on my plate.

The boy's triumphant grin
burst across his face.
"A lizard?" I asked.
"No, a sparrow.
I hit it with a stone."

I tried to share
but they would have none
saying the guest
should have the special treat.
I ate, thanked them,
and asked directions again.
"it makes no difference,"
the boy said.
"Either way will take you there."