Poem of the Week | March 03, 2014

This week we offer a new poem by Joseph Fasano. Fasano’s first collection of poems, Fugue for Other Hands, won the 2011 Cider Press Review Book Award. His second and third books, Inheritance and Vincent, are forthcoming from Cider Press. He won the 2008 RATTLE Poetry Prize, and he has been a finalist for the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, the Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition, and the Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books, among other honors. He has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, most recently for his poem “Vulture Watches a Starving Child.” His poems have appeared in The Yale Review, The Southern Review, Boston Review, FIELD, Tin House, Measure, Passages North, and other journals. He teaches at Manhattanville College and in both the undergraduate and graduate creative writing programs at Columbia University.
 
Author’s note:

If “Coda” is autobiographical, it must have come from my constant rediscovery that, as Frost writes, “Earth’s the right place for love.”

 

Coda

Now I watch my father turn and walk out
to the pastures where his mares are.
Alone, he lets his hands
drift over the deep chords in their
bodies, closing his blind eyes to that music.

 

The wind wades in dark boots
from the orchard,
steadying his shoulder through his hard time.

 

Now he is listening for beginning.
Now he is lying
among that sinew,
asking, as a boy would, where his song goes.

 

But he knows, he knows, he knows.
He knows
as long as love
runs, it is earthsong; it is wild
to be ridden in its irons
to another world. Another world. This one.

 

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