This Morning in a Morning Voice

By Todd Boss Todd Boss
to beat the froggiest   
of morning voices,   
   my son gets out of bed   
and takes a lumpish song   
   along—a little lyric   
learned in kindergarten,   
   something about a   
boat. He’s found it in   
   the bog of his throat   
before his feet have hit   
   the ground, follows   
its wonky melody down   
   the hall and into the loo   
as if it were the most   
   natural thing for a little   
boy to do, and lets it   
   loose awhile in there   
to a tinkling sound while   
   I lie still in bed, alive   
like I’ve never been, in   
   love again with life,   
afraid they’ll find me   
   drowned here, drowned   
in more than my fair   
   share of joy.

Poem copyright © 2008 by Todd Boss, whose most recent book of poems is Yellowrocket, W. W. Norton & Co., 2008. Poem reprinted from Poetry, December 2008, by permission of Todd Boss and the publisher.

Source: Poetry (December 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2008
 Todd  Boss


Poet Todd Boss grew up on a cattle farm in Wisconsin, and was educated at St. Olaf College and the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he received an MFA. Boss’s pared-down, idea-driven poems are propelled by internal rhyme and balance clarity with a nuanced attention to sound. “I think of poems as pieces of music, or a work of architecture,” he told the Utne Reader in 2009. “The poem is a space that you’re inviting someone . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Home Life, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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