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Poem-a-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary and audio by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is distributed via email, web, and social media to 500,000+ readers free of charge. The series is curated by twelve poets from across the country who have wide-ranging expertise and editorial perspectives. Learn more about the 2019 guest editors and revisit the 2018 guest editors and the poems they curated. Read more about Maggie Smith's approach to curating March

My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is

Recorded for Poem-a-Day March 18, 2019.
About this Poem 

“One day I was listening to my son’s swim coach and her feedback on his breaststroke, how he couldn’t muscle his way across the pool, how stillness and patience were important components of good technique. To encourage this, she had him count while his head was under the water, and it seemed like good advice for a lot of things, bearing what troubles you, for example, or writing a poem that is particularly challenging.”
—Blas Falconer

My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is

My son wants to know 
his name. What does he look like? What does 
he like? My son swims 
four days a week. When my son swims 
underwater, he glides 
between strokes. When he glides underwater, he is 
an arrow aimed 
at a wall. Four days a week, his coach says, 
Count—1…2…—before 
coming up for air. 
My father had blue eyes, blonde hair,
though mine are brown. 
My father could not speak 
Spanish and wondered, How can you love 
another man? We rarely touched. 
When my son 
is counting, I count 
with him. I say, I am 
your father, too. 1…2… 

Copyright © 2019 by Blas Falconer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by Blas Falconer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.