Mr. Coffee's pot was broken, but the boy didn't care.
Content in his world of blue Chucks and holes
in his socks. Eyes the color of faded jeans.
Gus the Lion and Rueful the Rabbit
happily guarded his textbook troop
of mathematics and engineering. Superchunk
blaring at top volume
yet the boy, asleep, dreamt of Pascal's Triangle
and chocolate brownies.


He always had a spring in his step.
Sometimes he would be walking
across campus with that childlike fascination,
an old baseball cap over ratty blond hair,
going past you with a smile and a bounce,
to everything around him as he pondered
eight-dimensional associative algebras;
or something less obscure, but just as complex
as a four-year-old's self portrait;

fluffy clouds became elegant fifth-order equations
through eyes that never wanted to just look forward
because they were opened so wide.


Last week I went by his old room
looking for a laugh, a hug, a game of bridge.
Unfamiliar names on the door reminded
me: he is now at Princeton
where the people wear nice shoes and coordinated clothing.
They fill his days with proofs and theorems
and yet nightfall still finds the boy
asleep with Gus, dreaming of six-dimensional brownies.

(c) Deanna Rubin 1996