Latest quotes | Random quotes | Latest comments | Add quote

Chris Forhan

My Almost-Daughter, my Nearly-was Son

Those overtime nights in the ice factory, eyeing gauges, greasing gears: that's one thing. And the hours of clarinet lessons.
All that rain that blathered on the patio, leaves
lifting and twisting, a demented semaphore. I hired myself
to crack that code, kept busy not conceiving you. I peopled
the past, got safely sad about that. I hammered together
a hut in the back of my brain to crawl inside and rest
from the labor of making it. My almost-daughter, my nearly-was son,
I was frugal, I made you wait till you grew
into the idea of waiting. See? These words hurt no one.

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Late Meditation

Night again, and I'm not impressed:
the blurred cedar, blowzy in her black dress,
the bat's manic acrobatics -- he tries too hard --
the hooligan raccoon routing in the brush,
and above all this the familiar, gaudy
glitter of the stars. Once I felt invited
to praise these things. Once I felt obliged.
Inviolable night, I said. Love's rustling curtain.
My hornbook, my slow ship to stow away on.
It took a long time to discover night
is a slate one writes on with the chalk
of desire. Look. The moon is thin as a dime.
It goes, and the sun comes up shrunken, low,
something to poke with a broom
and plunk, hissing, into a water bucket.
What I said, I'd like to take it back.

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Last Words

The night sky's a black stretch limo, boss in the back
behind tinted glass. You could say that.

Down here's a dungeon, up there's the glittering
ring of keys in the sentry's fist. The self

exists. Beauty too. But they're elsewhere.
You could say that. Or not speak till commanded to.

Dawn, alone on the porch, I watch
the one map unfold and flatten before me—

same toppled TV antenna in the berry vines,
same cardinal, bright wound in the pasture grass.

My wound is my business. I've wearied of it.
From now on, morning will be attended

by its own noises only, evening will approach
without palms in its path. Let the horses

[...] Read more

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Vanishing Act

my father is having to leave the house
with delicacy, easing the dead bolt open
in the dark. The house exhales him.
I'm thinking of a driving lay-up, of a girl
in homeroom, blue necklace, brown skin.
Transistor radio on my pillow, volume low.
I know some things, not enough. My eyes
are closed, I'm listening hard, that song
again, Knock down the old gray wall,
my father standing beside his car—gone,
key in his hand, snowflakes in his hair.
At dawn, an Indian head test pattern will stare
from the TV, the freezer will churn out
its automatic ice. On the windowsill
an iris in a vase will have taken
the last water into its cut stem. I will
notice it, how it is there, and had
stood there the whole time, that flower.

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Billet-Doux

She reads by the light of a guttering candle
and likes the feel of each page's gilt edge
as she lifts it slightly at the corner, readying

herself to turn it. If the wind whips
the sycamore branches outside her window,
if her nightgowned shoulders shudder once

from a sudden chill, so much the better,
and the book must tell of children toiling
for bread and pennies in a textile mill,

or tender brothers doomed to sharpen
their bayonets in opposing armies,
or a family of refugees, dust

in their mouths, gazing with longing at the far
shore of a river. And I long only
to be the author of that book she reads

[...] Read more

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Prayer's Before Sleep

Straight A's on arithmetic quizzes, your cheek gets ground
into the concrete down here, Sir. Thank You

for sending only Your smallest monsters to find me
and Your giant silence, thank You for that, within it

I accept that the Beatles won't sing in my rec room ever
and my gerbil will not unstiffen and nibble through his shoebox.

My teeth--I'd forgotten them--the braces are working,
don't worry, and my hands, my back, no problem. I will bear

Your son across Thornton creek when You send Him
should You lower Him into my neighborhood. Let

the capsule of astronauts splash down gently,
let me stay friends forever with William and Phil

and with Jenny, a discovery of late, by Your grace.
If Dad and Mom laughing today is Your doing,

[...] Read more

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Gouge, Adze, Rasp, Hammer

So this is what it's like when love
leaves, and one is disappointed
that the body and mind continue to exist,

exacting payment from each other,
engaging in stale rituals of desire,
and it would seem the best use of one's time

is not to stand for hours outside
her darkened house, drenched and chilled,
blinking into the slanting rain.

So this is what it's like to have to
practice amiability and learn
to say the orchard looks grand this evening

as the sun slips behind scumbled clouds
and the pears, mellowed to a golden-green,
glow like flames among the boughs.

[...] Read more

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

A Child's Guide to Etiquette

Never put your personal spoon in the common jelly bowl.
Spread your napkin upon your lap. Do not grasp.
Eat what meat your fork can get to; the rest of the lobster must be given
up for lost.
A girl must lay her silver down while still a trifle hungry.
She must not eat unchaperoned.

A boy does not take a girl’s arm on the street. The street is no place for
devotion.
He must not allow his mother to lug the coal up or sift the ashes.
If he does, he is a cad. A boy is shiftless, a vulgar bounder. He is not
excused.
He wears a dark suit, but not in a theater box. In a box a tuxedo is worn.
In a box a boy keeps his thoughts to himself.
A girl keeps her hat on until she is seated. The theater itself wears no hat.

Snow is a hat worn by mountains, the tallest of which do not remove the
hat in summer.
Sunlight settles like a shawl upon the hills and dewy berry fields.
The sun is not a wag or hail-fellow-well-met. It does not loaf or shirk.

[...] Read more

poem by Chris ForhanReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
 

If you know another quote, please submit it.

Search


Recent searches | Top searches