Elizabeth Bishop

The Wit

"Wait. Let me think a minute," you said.
And in the minute we saw:
Eve and Newton with an apple apiece,
and Moses with the Law,
Socrates, who scratched his curly head,
and many more from Greece,
all coming hurrying up to now,
bid by your crinkled brow.

But then you made a brilliant pun.
We gave a thunderclap of laughter.
Flustered, your helpers vanished one by one;
and through the conversational spaces, after,
we caught,—back, back, far, far,—
the glinting birthday of a fractious star.

spoken = Shelley Lynn Johnson