On Reading Aristotle
Different men seek after happiness in different
ways and by different means, and so make
for themselves different modes of life
I’m sure Charlie Brown would sit under
a tree like this one – its white black bark
peeling like paint off a flag pole
as playground slides and swing sets
graze the park hungry for clover
and dandelions. He’d sit quietly
on shaded grass, eyes closed, mouth
squiggled across his face, thin as string.
For an afternoon, he’d imagine
the little-red-haired girl: her soft hand
clutching a crayon as it fabricates a backyard
rose’s silhouette on a sheet of white paper,
the way she squinches her nose
when it’s assaulted with wind – he’d ponder
why he’s only offered her silence.
Then he’d rise: Snoopy will be hungry;
Sally needs help with her math.
Round as a lollipop, his bald head bobs home.
He’ll return tomorrow to wonder why Beethoven
lathers Schroeder’s core with rapture,
what joy commands Pig-Pen to seduce himself
with dirt, and how Linus siphons ecstasy from a blanket –
while his own essence demands so much more.
S. Thomas Summers is a Teacher of English at Wayne Hills High
School. He is the author of Death settled well and Rather, It
Should Shine. He is also a English/Literature Education Workshop