By Megan Snyder-Camp Megan Snyder-Camp
The first person in recorded history
struck by a comet slept on her couch
across the road from the Comet Drive-In
and the comet found her roof, her sadness, her knee,
and woke her. Everything that hurts
hurt before, she said. Showing at the drive-in, a documentary
on tightrope-walking: a young man frustrated
that his dream, the World Trade Center, was not yet built
so he practiced for years in a meadow crossing intended sky, intent
like a pillowcase sweetening him, no harm . . . Here
let the towers go, let them write his crossing, cursive, back and forth
his name steadying our tongues . . . Famous, overcoat
floating down without him, the idea that we stand
where we mean to stand, 1974, a distraction
from my parents’ morning commute. At 59th Street they split.
The poems I was writing were no longer poems of their divorce,
my father’s sweeping gestures or his pain, the old Volkswagen
and garden hose—all of that had washed from my poems
and instead an imaginary family arrived in borrowed gardens,
their son stillborn—even as I grew heavy with my own son
I wrote poem after poem holding this imagined horror close.

Megan Snyder-Camp, “Recording” from The Forest of Sure Things. Copyright © 2010 by Megan Snyder-Camp. Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.

Source: The Forest of Sure Things (Tupelo Press, 2010)

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

Poet Megan Snyder-Camp

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Megan Snyder-Camp's first collection of poetry, The Forest of Sure Things, was published by Tupelo Press in August 2010. Poems of hers have appeared in the Antioch Review, Field, the Sonora Review, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of a 2010 Individual Artist grant from Washington's 4Culture Foundation as well as residencies/scholarships at Djerassi, Bread Loaf, and the Espy Foundation. She lives in Seattle with . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Megan Snyder-Camp

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Separation & Divorce, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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.