Fall 2011, Volume 11

Poetry by John Lee Clark

I am Six Feet

I am six feet tall more than half of which is gorgeous leg

No one noticed least of all me

That is until I shaved my legs in the shower room in the boys' dormitory at the
   deaf school

I was too blind to play football anymore so I joined the swim team at the blind
   school on the opposite bank of a former winding river now a winding road called
   the Straight River

The Faribault Daily News said that the river got its name from a bunch of drunk
   Indians who were staggering along and thought the river ran straight

Anyway I read that shaving my legs would make me swim faster

After seventeen years of never shaving my legs it was hard work

It was so hard I didn't notice the water flooding and spilling out into where the
   bank of sinks and mirrors were

Ron Hill was combing his hair as always and he noticed the water and soon my
   whole floor was there

At last I noticed the water and found the drain clogged with seventeen years' worth    of leg hair

Pulling up a handful I felt the water swirl back and down and looking up I saw
   a whole football team's worth of slack jaws

Oh I should have shaved my legs over at the blind school




BIO: John Lee Clark's poetry has apeared in The Hollins Critic, Pif, Poetry and The Seneca Review. His chapbook of poems is Suddenly Slow (Handtype Press, 2008) and he edited the anthology Deaf American Poetry, (Gallaudet University Press, 2009). He is married to the cartoonist Adrean Clark, and they live in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota with their three sons. John is deaf and blind.