Raising the Titanic

By Robert Hedin b. 1949 Robert Hedin
I spent the winter my father died down in the basement,
under the calm surface of the floorboards, hundreds

of little plastic parts spread out like debris
on the table. And for months while the snow fell

and my father sat in the big chair by the Philco, dying,
I worked my way up deck by deck, story by story,

from steerage to first class, until at last it was done,
stacks, deck chairs, all the delicate rigging.

And there it loomed, a blazing city of the dead.
Then painted the gaping hole at the waterline

and placed my father at the railings, my mother
in a lifeboat pulling away from the wreckage.

Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Hedin from his most recent book of poems, The Light Under the Door, Red Dragonfly Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Hedin and the publisher.

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Poet Robert Hedin b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

 Robert  Hedin

Biography

Poet Robert Hedin was born and raised in Red Wing, Minnesota. He studied at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. After living in North Carolina, France, and Alaska for many years, he returned to Red Wing and founded the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, an artists’ retreat. Much of Hedin’s poetry is set in the landscape of the Midwest. His most recent book of poems is Poems . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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