Childhood Stories

By Matthew Rohrer b. 1970 Matthew Rohrer
They learned to turn off the gravity in an auditorium
and we all rose into the air,
the same room where they demonstrated
pow-wows and prestidigitation.
 
But not everyone believed it.
That was the most important lesson
I learned—that a truck driven by a dog
could roll down a hill at dusk
and roll right off a dock into a lake
and sink, and if no one believes you
then what is the point
of telling them wonderful things?
 
I walked home from the pow-wow
on an early winter night in amazement:
they let me buy the toy tomahawk!
As soon as I got home I was going
to hit my sister with it, but I didn’t know this.

Matthew Rohrer, “Childhood Stories” from Satellite. Copyright © 2001 by Matthew Rohrer. Reprinted by permission of Wave Books.

Source: Satellite (Wave Books, 2001)

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

Poet Matthew Rohrer b. 1970

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, School & Learning, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Matthew  Rohrer

Biography

Matthew Rohrer was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Oklahoma. He earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. His first collection, A Hummock in the Malookas (1995), was selected by Mary Oliver for the National Poetry Series. He is the author of Satellite (2001), A Green Light (2004), Rise Up (2007), They All Seemed Asleep (2008), and A Plate of Chicken (2009). Destroyer and Preserver (2011). He has . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Activities, School & Learning, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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.