14/CHRONICLESnPERSPECTIVEnSermon for William Andersonnby Thomas Flemingn”In every part of every living thingnis stuff that once was rock.”n—Lorine Niedecker, “Lake Superior”nAfter forty years of dying the world is new;nthe sky above all metaphor is blue,nhouses a bleed of brush-strokes on this streetnI once walked down to school and back in sleetdishevelednOctober dawns and bee-bumbling springnvacation Fridays for nine years: WyomingnAvenue, which dwindles to a track,nrunning out to the woods; and past the woods the lakenstretched unfretted beneath the wind-gnarled rocknthe glacier thrust. On this familiar walknto school I read the graduate dean’s decree:n”Fleming: Please be advised your Ph.D.nin classics is suspended till you pass,nwith grade of B or better, a sixth grade classnin social studies you did not complete.”nAfter thirty years the teacher must be dead —nstill parroting her paradigms underground—nand I was sure they’d pulled the old school down,nbut I (or everything else) must be wrong:nI see the red brick building, which so longnhad fouled itself with smoke from the soft coalnthe School Board fed the furnace with.nThe rollnwas being called by now, and late for classnI cut across the pupil-worried grassnand down the oak floors meant to dignifynthe sweated fact and oft-repeated lienthat stands in for the truth with half the risks,nthe sums told off on fingers under desks,nthe photo exposes of Greece and Rome.nSearching beneath the desktop for the gumnI planted, I find the initials carved: TF.nAfter a filmstrip on Prokofiev —nattacked by Stalin’s music commissarnon his return to the U.S.S.R.—nthe pupils, kids I must have seen somewhere,nstare past Gulliver squeezed into his chair,nwhile teacher reads the new curriculum:n”Athens — with capital A, the ancient homenof Plato, Thales, Homer, Pericles,nwas first of all the world’s democracies.n(Thales, you remember, fell down a wellnnn