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Did I Miss Anything

Page history last edited by cbennett 11 years, 9 months ago

Did I Miss Anything?


Tom Wayman


Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here

we sat with our hands folded on our desks

in silence, for the full two hours


     Everything. I gave an exam worth

     40 percent of the grade for this term

     and assigned some reading due today

     on which I’m about to hand out a quiz

     worth 50 percent


Nothing. None of the content of this course

has value or meaning

Take as many days off as you like:

any activities we undertake as a class

I assure you will not matter either to you or me

and are without purpose


     Everything. A few minutes after we began last time

     a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel

     or other heavenly being appeared

     and revealed to us what each woman or man must do

     to attain divine wisdom in this life and

     the hereafter

     This is the last time the class will meet

     before we disperse to bring the good news to all people

          on earth.


Nothing. When you are not present

how could something significant occur?


     Everything. Contained in this classroom

     is a microcosm of human experience

     assembled for you to query and examine and ponder

     This is not the only place such an opportunity has been



     but it was one place


     And you weren’t here




From Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993, 1993

Harbour Publishing


Copyright 1993 Tom Wayman.

All rights reserved.

Reproduced with permission 


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