A Great Man Speaks
We gathered, as if 'round a fire
To hear of dreams and hearts' desire,
For when an aged professor speaks
A tide of knowledge lifts souls higher.
Loud and boisterous, soft and meek,
His wisdom we logged on to seek,
In the glow of far-flung screens,
Microphones muted against yells and squeaks.
Of young and old and those between
Dozens of boxes soon were seen.
Largest of all, the great man's square:
Our bold professor, our noble dean!
He welcomed us with the greatest care,
Then gathered his thoughts and began to share
Hard won truths of honor and grace,
Delivered with a scholarly air.
The memories lit his well-lined face
And his stentorian voice filled our digital space,
Transforming those watching on Zoom
To another time in a far different place.
In all types of buildings and all types of rooms
He wove stories with thread from time's golden loom
For an hour or more, then called for a break,
Saying that shortly he would resume.
And then...we thought at first it was a mistake.
The kind that an older person might make.
But his camera stayed on and so it began:
A nightmare from which none could awake.
There was much commotion and waving of hands
As we endeavored to stop the well-esteemed man
(Whose earbuds, I fear, were laid to the side)
But still he proceeded to undo his waistband.
Our feeling of wonder quickly dwindled and died
As some students laughed while a few others cried.
The incident lasted 30 seconds at most,
But seemed interminable to our horrified eyes.
Soon after the professor, to whom we once felt so close,
Whose brilliance was the subject of many a toast,
Returned to discover we all had logged off
And left him disgraced, the Zoom meeting's host.