By David Rivard b. 1953 David Rivard
Sunlight fades
the storefront full of magazines.
Month to month
they boss us—the covers,
they tell us
that if we want to get happy & alluring   
(real happy, alluring sexually)
we must for goddamn sure
take up the breeding of Jack Russell terriers,   
or else dig
a little backyard fishpond.

Days of fish, days of dog, days of sex—
in that order, necessarily.

In the sun
all the titles are trying
to vanish—phrases like trout pond
diluted, the 20-point sans serif, inked-red   
passion bleached now, apathetic, ghostly—
words that want my attention   
like movers on the street lugging mirrors,
a moment when I seem to   
come toward myself & then   
I’m gone
too. I am not
a greedy man. All I want
is to be a visitor to this life.

David Rivard, “Going” from Bewitched Playground. Copyright © 2000 by David Rivard. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.

Source: Bewitched Playground (Graywolf Press, 2000)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet David Rivard b. 1953

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 David  Rivard


David Rivard was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. His collections of poetry include Torque (1988), which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Wise Poison (1996), winner of the James Laughlin Award, Bewitched Playground (2000), Sugartown (2005), and Otherwise Elsewhere (2010). He has also been a contributor to such publications as Ploughshares, The New England Review, and Poetry, and is a former editor of The Harvard . . .

Continue reading this biography

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.