That was him every time: he just bounced.
Always astonished at landing on you
but likewise pleased at the prospect of new
adventures, he’d peer and blink and smile
and say let’s do something, right now, while
you sat dazed, having been thoroughly trounced.

He was constantly, restlessly bouncing,
pulling you with him into mad motion
with rapid talk of that very day’s notion.
A large lunch, two drinks and one singular book
were the only academical tools it took
(though grumblers were seen to exit, flouncing).

It wasn’t so bad, really, to be bounced–
dust off your dignity and you could call
it delightful. Swept along on all
manner of cloudy liberal visions,
holding your breath at his decisions,
giddy over the heights from which he pounced,

ever landing on his feet, pronouncing
as he hit the ground the next but one plan:
a visit from the Imam of Turkmenistan
or a new Baroque ensemble, himself
on harpsichord, or for us all a shelf
of required reading, on pain of bouncing.

Your books you wrote at night, but announcing
what you wrote in us is now our task. I say
your bounce was the best ever; more, I lay
odds we’ll not feel your lovely like again,
nevermore rise from such a fortunate fall
as you have given to us, one and all.
Sandcastles, libraries, you built the twain:
And both we love and honor in your major name,
since we must learn to live without your bouncing.

July 22, 2003

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