Voiced Stops

By Forrest Gander b. 1956 Forrest Gander
Summer’s sweet theatrum! The boy lunges through
The kitchen without comment, slams the door. An
Elaborate evening drama. I lug his forlorn weight
From floor to bed. Beatific lips and gap-
 
Toothed. Who stayed late to mope and swim, then
Breach chimneys of lake like a hooked gar
Pressing his wet totality against me. Iridescent
Laughter and depraved. Chromatic his constant state. At
 
Ten, childhood took off like a scorched dog. Turned
His head to see my hand wave from a window, and I too saw
The hand untouching, distant from. What fathering-
Fear slaked the impulse to embrace him? Duration!
 
An indefinite continuation of life. I whirled out wings. Going
Toward. And Lord Child claimed now, climbing loose.

Forrest Gander, “Voiced Stops” from Torn Awake. Copyright © 1996 by Forrest Gander. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Torn Awake (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1996)

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Poet Forrest Gander b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Time & Brevity, Youth, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Summer

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Sonnet

 Forrest  Gander

Biography

Born in California’s Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry—informed by his knowledge of geology—turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action.

Gander’s books of poetry include Eye Against . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Time & Brevity, Youth, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Summer

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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