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1 Local Warehouse Poetry- A to Z

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The Fall


The Fall Cover




Red-And-Silver Schwinn
I would never learn.
She would never love me.
When I wriggled on that cruel seat
a blind force--perhaps hope--
smashed me into the sprinkler system.
Even when I wheeled it,
the bike jack-knifed.
It seemed the fall
was planned within me.
Polite with rage
I refused trainer wheels.
I carried the frame tenderly
over newly sodded lawns.
Once it was my burden
there was nowhere we could not go.
I trained a magnifying glass
on the ant with the crumb
and he stepped away
from the pool of light.
I held the beam
wherever he was going.
At once he shriveled
to a tiny black line
whose ends rose slowly
to meet each other.
I aimed at my hand
and sensed that fire
infinitely distant, close,
then inside me:
when I dropped the lens
I felt no comfort
and called my father's name.

A bell tolled six times
on an island in the fog
and my father turned toward it.
Angelus or a signal?
Where the reefs must be,
a buoy chimed at random.
How to row toward a voice
once it has fallen silent?
He listened tight-lipped:
bitterns, gagging laughter,
slap and hiss of Castine,
creaking oars, my crying.
A white hand cupped us
so we faced each other
entirely inside the mind.
Then he began stroking powerfully,
a vein swelled on his forehead,
his blue knuckles rose like pistons,
even I could sense us circle
under the spell of his right arm,
and he lost himself counting
in his exile's language--
twenty, a thousand, as if our home
lay beyond those enormousnumbers.

Copyright © 2002 by D. Nurkse

Product Details

Nurkse, D.
Knopf Publishing Group
Dennis Nurkse
New York
American - General
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 6, 2004
Grade Level:
8.42x5.94x.33 in. .36 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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