Two Poems

Blind

The way, as I wake, some shimmery dream
rushes toward the sun’s obliterating flame,

the day, too—this lit second,
and this, the crux of it, a wild weeping

at its heart—feels gone already
as I enter it.  Blind ancient broom maker

stooped near the church door, hawking
your wares—wood rubbed smooth, straw

twined tight by stiff fingers:  I stride by
in silence.  Forgive me.

Because you cannot see
my face, I pass you by and say nothing.

 

 

Opulent, Unfunereal World

I will not give in to your gospel of moonlight.

I will not lose myself to your poplar, its spills
of blossom and birdsong, shadow in the grass
like a dress it’s stepped out of.

With your wind routes, your white wolves’
tracks through snow, going nowhere, anywhere . . .

and your rain, voluble gossip coming down
hard and thoughtless—what can you say

of love gone stupid, of a heart repelled,
made crooked like a nail?

Ripple of pondwater, ferry my fear away.
Breeze-bent wheat fields, finish this song.
In the family photo, maple, replace me.

Opulent, unfunereal world, what I know of you

is eyelash-slight.  What you know of me
you will never tell.

 

 

 

Chris Forhan’s new book is a memoir, My Father Before Me. He has also published three collections of poetry: Black Leapt In, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars, winner of the Morse Prize and the Washington State Book Award; and Forgive Us Our Happiness, winner of the Bakeless Prize.  He has won a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives in Indianapolis, where he teaches at Butler University. For more:  www.chrisforhan.com.

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