BRADLEY EARLE HOGE
Companions usually assume that my expertise
includes the names of trees and bushes
and flowering plants lining our path,
of birds in the sky and fossils in the rocks.
But I’ve never been good at the naming of things.
Ask me how the plant communicates
with the bird over varying spans of time,
of change of seasons and eons,
how bacteria nurture the roots
and leaves are shaped by fractal geometry,
how some trees adapt to fire
and others to flood, how grief is felt
the same in any language, and the many names
of the moon do not change its face,
how distance is just as easily measured by time
as changing position, and each of us
merely flow through this time and space
as waves of probability buffeted by every chance
encounter. How my most egregious failing
is that while I never forget a face
I struggle to remember names.
Bradley Earle Hoge’s poems appear in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Chronogram, Rattle, Tertulia, Stickman Review, Tonapah la, entelechy: mind and culture, and Tar Wolf Review. His chapbooks have been published by KattyWompus Press, Red Berry Editions, and Plain View Press. He is the managing editor of Dark Matter: A Journal of Speculative Literature. Bradley lives in Spring, TX with his wife and three children. He teaches natural science at the University of Houston – Downtown.