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Recorded for Poem-a-Day March 26, 2019.
About this Poem 

“This sonnet is a choral flailing against how much my second book, in offering moments of a new life with our child, has risked sounding too much like parting with our child’s new life. It’s a confession and prayer that, like most parents-in-love, we haven’t figured out how to fit a (healthy) version of in our mouths, of keeping our child’s going from happening to us.”
—Geffrey Davis

For the Child's Mole

we won’t tell you where it lies, as in time
we might need the minor intimacy
of that secret. just creatures, heavy with hope
& begging against the grave song inside
our living, we have agreed his death is
the one cold chord we refuse to endure

from the sorry endlessness of the blues.
& if ever we fail to bear the rate at which
we feel the world pining for the body
of our boy, we can conjure that mole—the small
brown presence of it tucked where only tenderness
would think to look—& recall when it seemed

nothing about our child could drift beyond
the terrible certainty of love’s reach.

Copyright © 2019 by Geffrey Davis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 26, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by Geffrey Davis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 26, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis is the author of Night Angler, winner of the 2018 James Laughlin Award and forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2019. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

by this poet

poem

During the last 50 miles back from haul & some
months past my 15th birthday, my father fishes
a stuffed polar bear from a Salvation Army
gift-bin, labeled Boys: 6-10. I can almost see him
approach the decision: cold, a little hungry, not enough

money in his pocket for coffee.

poem

             Time’s going has ebbed the moorings
to the memories that make this city-kid

             part farm-boy. Until a smell close enough to
the sweet-musk of horse tunes my ears back

             to tree frogs blossoming after a country rain.
I’m back among snakes like slugs wedged

2
poem

what kind of wound make a man
set his favorite rooster loose

             on a dying hen    what make the man

snap the neck of that twice-broken bird
before his child’s eyes    what make him see

             the bad idea after the fact—what open him

like a storm    what