David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
And I U

November 14, 2020

As I write this, the Indiana Hoosiers are ranked 10th in football. It may not be a sign of much in a weird year of college football, but this is rarefied air for the school where I earned my Ph.D., often an afterthought in my emotional ties to younger days.


That trunk in the attic,

Echoes my knees creaking,

As I force the lid from the rusted hinges.

The dust brings a cough,

Always a concern in the current

State of conditions.

Here's a postcard.

There's a Polaroid.

See the ticket stub.

Where's the card I seek?

I think it had some sweet sentiment

Of long-ago significance,

Of times too easily taken for granted,

Of loves too easily forgotten.


You missed this,

And you missed me,

And I U.

That seems such an afterthought.

The expansive ways my intensity

Soared through those younger days

Of bull-headed certainty,

Passion and misguided identity.

Don't want the things in this trunk to mislead.

Everything I did young and naive

Are here for your enjoyment,

But I stopped collecting artifacts

When they stopped seeming to mean

Much of anything to me.


What do I have to show for the intermittent years?

A few scars, gray hairs, and an attic full of junk.

I keep a number on a board

In an office as crammed as this trunk.

It countdowns while you count on me

And I U.

Here's a legacy, perhaps not of note.

There's a cabinet full of minutes.

See the picture frame,

Who'll tell its story when

That number on the board reaches zero?

I fear the words are not enough,

That you will not see me

And I U.