A seated statue of himself he seems.
A bronze slowness becomes him. Patently
The page he contemplates he doesn't see.
The lesson, the long lesson, has been summer.
His mind holds summer as his skin holds sun.
For once the homework, all of it, was done.
What were the crops, where were the fiery fields
Where for so many days so many hours
The sun assaulted him with glittering showers?
Expect a certain absence in his presence.
Expect all winter long a summer scholar,
For scarcely all its snows can cool that color.
Robert Francis, Robert Francis: Collected Poems, 1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.