Grandpa Vogt’s—1959

By Ben Vogt b. 1976 Ben Vogt
The food is on the table. Turkey tanned
to a cowboy boot luster, potatoes mashed
and mounded in a bowl whose lip is lined
with blue flowers linked by grey vines faded
from washing. Everyone’s heads have turned
to elongate the table’s view—a last supper twisted
toward a horizon where the Christmas tree, crowned
by a window, sets into itself half inclined.   
Each belly cries. Each pair of eyes admonished
by Aunt Photographer. Look up. You’re wined
and dined for the older folks who’ve pined
to see your faces, your lives, lightly framed
in this moment’s flash. Parents are moved,
press their children’s heads up from the table,
hide their hunger by rubbing lightly wrinkled
hands atop their laps. They’ll hold the image
as long as need be, seconds away from grace.

Poem copyright ©2008 by Benjamin Vogt, whose most recent book of poems is Indelible Marks, Pudding House Press, 2004. Reprinted by permission of Benjamin Vogt.

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Poet Ben Vogt b. 1976

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Arts & Sciences, Photography & Film

Holidays Thanksgiving

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Benjamin Vogt is the author of the poetry collections Indelible Marks (2004), Without Such Absence (2010), and Afterimage: Poems (2011). Vogt earned a BFA in creative writing and literature from the University of Evansville, an MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University, and a PhD in poetry and creative nonfiction from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Vogt’s awards include the Louise VanSickle Fellowship, the Frederick . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Arts & Sciences, Photography & Film

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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