What Became

By Wesley McNair b. 1941 Wesley McNair
What became of the dear   
strands of hair pressed   
against the perspiration   
of your lover's brow   
after lovemaking as you gazed   
into the world of those eyes,   
now only yours?   

What became of any afternoon   
that was so vivid you forgot   
the present was up to its old   
trick of pretending   
it would be there   

What became of the one   
who believed so deeply   
in this moment he memorized   
everything in it and left   
it for you?

Source: Poetry (September 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the September 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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September 2001
 Wesley  McNair


Often referred to as “a poet of place,” Wesley McNair captures the ordinary lives of northern New Englanders while writing about family conflict and other autobiographical subjects. His poems often explore American dreams interwoven with family drama and public culture. A New Hampshire native who has lived for many years in Mercer, Maine, McNair has authored nineteen books, nine of which are collections of poetry, including The . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Love, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Romantic Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Elegy, Refrain

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