Thursday, April 3, 2008

Showing a Photograph to Raymond Carver of My Father in His 31st year

The grin and high cheeks, the tightened lips, poised
before an exclamation to my mother,
could break Raymond Carver’s taut heart.

His young father carried fish on a string
and bottles of beer in one hand. Little
Raymond had not yet been born.

But I am the serious bellied boy
at the wooden arm of your old lawn chair.
I am pictured and pleasant enough and small.

I desire to be the opened book,
the paper in your right hand’s steadied grip,
left hand relaxed from reading me.

I would like to show you Raymond Carver’s
poem and the 1934 Ford
he parked behind his Daddy.

I would like to show Ray the jig-sawed scar
on your outside right thigh and ask him why
he thinks it never healed.

Here's the classic Carver poem on which this is a riff.

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