Smiling Eyes

This is the opening poem in my collection The Gunslinger in Technicolor and also the first poem I ever published. In 1983 it appeared in Pine Knots, the literary magazine of Northern Arizona University.

Smiling eyes
China eyes
    the child reveals
       his lineage
    across seas
       in laughter.

Wearing a blanket,
a beard,
and bathless months
a saintly, simple bum wanders
    panning the changeless
writing on the schoolhouse walls
    with a crayon
he teaches Ghandi
                      to third graders
       in laughter.

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