Are We There Yet?

By Dobby Gibson b. 1970 Dobby Gibson
You only have to make her one grilled cheese
in the suffocating heat of summer
while still wearing your wet swim trunks
to know what it’s like to be in love.
And you only have to sit once
for a haircut in the air conditioning
with the lovely stylist to forget all about it,
and to forget that anything in the universe
ever existed prior to the small, pink sweater
now brushing softly against your neck.
In this world, every birth is premature.
How else to explain all of this silence,
all of this screaming,
all of those Christmas card letters
about how well the kids are doing in school?
We’re all struggling to say the same old things
in new and different ways.
And so we must praise the new and different ways.
I don’t like Christmas.
I miss you that much.
For I, too, have heard the screaming,
and I, too, have tried to let it pass,
and still I’ve been up half the night
as if I were half this old,
and like you, I hate this kind of poetry
just as much as my life depends upon it.
They’re giving away tiny phones for free these days,
but they’ve only made
a decent conversation more precious.
One medicine stops the swelling,
another medicine stops the first medicine.
Just like you, I entered this world
mad and kicking, and without you,
it’s precisely how I intend to go.

Dobby Gibson, “Are We There Yet?” from Skirmish. Copyright © 2009 by Dobby Gibson. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press,

Source: Skirmish (Graywolf Press, 2009)

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Poet Dobby Gibson b. 1970

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Dobby  Gibson


Born in Minneapolis, poet Dobby Gibson earned a BA at Connecticut College and an MFA at Indiana University. Originally in graduate school to study fiction, Gibson wrote his first poem at the age of 26. He described his defection from fiction in an interview with the online audio archive From the Fishouse: “I eventually spent all my time on my fiction working on beginnings and endings, and began to quit caring about plot and . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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