October 22, 2013
Separation is the necessary condition for light.
so it came to me 
to carry the abandoned 
mattress to the attic 
a month dead my father 
waited hillside in the field 
surrounding his house 
I was glad to see him 
to remember when 
the fathers seemed 
generic      related    a class 
of things as uniform as trees 
are when you don't know 
their names     a stand 
of them across the field 
I want to say autumn 
aspens      the late fathers 
blonde as early evening 
wind startles their eyes 
and makes of your name 
a sail      a boat above roots 
that rise to stem that rise 
to leaf his door and cornices 
his felt hat and mattress 
empty it feels like forever 
above the flickering field 
the fathers shrinking 
far beneath our feet 



for Lisa Fishman



Copyright � 2013 by Brian Teare. Used with permission of the author.


About This Poem
"I don't usually remember my dreams. But after a poet-friend wrote to tell me of her father's death, my own dead father appeared to me in a strangely sweet tableau. I don't know if an elegy can properly be a gesture of friendship, but in the same way her news triggered my father's brief return, the poem responds to the gift of her poems with a gift of poetry." 

--Brian Teare
Most Recent Book by Teare

(Omnidawn Publishing, 2013)




Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-A-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends. Browse the Poem-A-Day Archive.  

Brian Teare is the author of several books of poems, including Companion Grasses (Omnidawn Publishing, 2013). He is an assistant professor at Temple University and lives in Philadelphia. 

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