Poems by C. Dale Young and Victoria Chang

New work by faculty member C. Dale Young and alumna Victoria Chang (poetry, ’05) appears online at Diode.

Learning to Walk

C. Dale Young

The halo, still fixed to my head then,
pinned to the calvarium’s fine table
of bone, almost helped me to balance.
And balance is such a fine quality.
No matter how many times my mother

recounts for me how I first learned
to walk, I have no recollection of it.
But I remember the second time I learned,
because learning to walk as an adult,
like learning anything one should learn

as a child, involves shame and embarrassment,
those snickering sisters who love to watch you fail.
To clutch the two poles alongside you, poles
parallel to the ground you stand on, you wish
you were a gymnast or at least studying

to be a gymnast.  Instead, you feel
the terrible weight of yourself grappling with
the weight of yourself, one final and awful
proof for gravity. Shouldn’t a man who has wings
be immune from such things, be immune from gravity?

Shouldn’t he be able to hover in place, the wings
vibrating the way a bee’s wings do?
The need to stand, the desperate need to walk,
was embarrassing.  I said so many prayers then.
I prayed to any god I thought would listen.

Read more of C. Dale’s poems at Diode

I only knew dictators I loved the unilateral directions

Victoria Chang

I only knew dictators I loved the unilateral directions
           the high diction my father sat
    in his office dictating his thoughts about
                meetings with bosses my father dictated

to me to eat tomatoes my father was dictated to
           by his boss the bush blooms flowers
    each spring pink ones open then the blooms fall
                the bush resumes being a bush

a boss changes seasonally too a boss can turn into
           a dictator and back again the boss sees
    everything we play hide and seek with
                the boss but she always finds

us we always hide in the same place
           my office faces the boss’s office but our
    doors don’t align some days when I can no longer
                lie I shut my door and cry the rain

always gives me away when I play hide and seek
           with my two-year-old she lies
    on the ground and covers her face she thinks
                I can’t see her

Read more of Victoria’s poems at Diode

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