"Philosophy Lesson"

A friend points out

words like here

do not mean the same

with each use


you say I am here

I say I am here

but we are not

in each other’s here


I hunch under

my shell of here,

wrapped in my gray

solitude and do not


hear you

calling and it is dark

and there are ghosts and

silence although I strain my ears


now of course is

worse, the here of time

where am I now

where am I going


you say

come here now

of course I can’t

because I am here forever


About the author

Janet McCann’s work has appeared in Kansas Quarterly, Parnassus, Nimrod, and others. A 1989 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship winner, she taught at Texas A & M University from 1969-2016, and is now Professor Emerita. She has co-edited anthologies with David Craig, Odd Angles of Heaven (Shaw, 1994), Place of Passage (Story Line, 2000), and Poems of Francis and Clare (St. Anthony Messenger, 2004). Her most recent poetry collection is The Crone at the Casino (Lamar University Press,  2014).


Janet McCann