Poem of the Week: July 21st, 2015

Matt Mason, author of our poem of the week, has won two Nebraska Book Awards (for Poetry in 2007 and Anthology in 2006) and organized poetry programming with the U.S. Department of State in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Minsk, Belarus. His poem, “What I’ve Learned, Being a Father” can be found in Volume 1, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED, BEING A FATHER
By Matt Mason

is that being a person
takes practice.
Nobody springs fully-formed anymore
like in ancient stories. Even Jesus,

we acknowledge, drudged through
the relative embarrassments of infancy:
arms as novel and unwieldy as tentacles,
no sense of social control with your tongue,

these brand new bowels
and the surprises they prove capable of;
these bodies
like rowboats on stormy seas,

crashing against momentum and seeming never,
ever will they be something
you can steer.
You may someday know

how to balance on water; but
for now
the waves do not answer
to your spastic, sausage-like hands.


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