Summer 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2008 |

They Are People in a Line

They are simply people in a line. Each one has his own elsewhere to be. Their shoes have touched the grounds of clean and dirty Places in this town, but now a sign—An arrow—points them forward through a tall And winnowing rotunda to be assessed For what each hopes will be his own success But is, in truth, something very small. The stanchion where the velvet rope arrives Does not care if one promotes his cuff links Or one his do-rag, and does not know what fame Each knows outside the line. Each must abide Until his turn to answer in black ink: What color are your eyes? What is your name?

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.