Mr. Glusenkamp by Ronald Wallace
His gray face was a trapezoid, his voice
droned on like an ellipse.
He hated students and their noise
and loved the full eclipse
of their faces at the end of the day.
No one could have been squarer,
and nothing could have been plainer
than his geometry.
He didn't go for newfangled
stuff—new math, the open classroom.
And yet he taught us angles
and how lines intersect and bloom,
and how infinity was no escape,
and how to give abstractions shape.
"Mr. Glusenkamp" is found in Wallace's collection Long for This World: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003).