Voiced Stops

By Forrest Gander b. 1956 Forrest Gander
Summer’s sweet theatrum! The boy lunges through
The kitchen without comment, slams the door. An
Elaborate evening drama. I lug his forlorn weight
From floor to bed. Beatific lips and gap-
Toothed. Who stayed late to mope and swim, then
Breach chimneys of lake like a hooked gar
Pressing his wet totality against me. Iridescent
Laughter and depraved. Chromatic his constant state. At
Ten, childhood took off like a scorched dog. Turned
His head to see my hand wave from a window, and I too saw
The hand untouching, distant from. What fathering-
Fear slaked the impulse to embrace him? Duration!
An indefinite continuation of life. I whirled out wings. Going
Toward. And Lord Child claimed now, climbing loose.

Forrest Gander, “Voiced Stops” from Torn Awake. Copyright © 1996 by Forrest Gander. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Torn Awake (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1996)


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Poet Forrest Gander b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Time & Brevity, Youth, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Summer

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Sonnet