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Poem of the Month
 

Erin Adair-Hodges is visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Toledo University and is the co-creator and curator of the Bad Mouth Reading Series. Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, and Green Mountains Review, among other venues. Winner of the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, she’s also been a Bread Loaf Rona Jaffe scholar, and has received awards from the Rockland Residency and The Writer’s Hotel.

 

November 2017

From Let's All Die Happy

by Erin Adair-Hodges

 

Vow


This city’s twenty miles across from tit to toe,
something I’m told
my grandfather would have said,

the one I didn’t know and could not
have loved, so who needs him here?
When he died in ’69 his wife went too,

throwing her heart into the protestant hole,
her body following thirty years later.
I do not love you like this.

Sometimes, while driving past strip malls
chained like verses of campground rounds,
I think of your death, not the fall

or a crash but the call when they find
Wife in your phone and I imagine
I’ll know from the tone of the stranger’s voice

asking if I belong to your name. I’ll know
the fact but not the feelings, which I’m bad at
and so have to rehearse but I think first

of money, how there is none. I’d have to leave
the house in a month and mourn you
in an apartment, maybe in a complex

with a pool. Mornings after I cross alive
over the guilty river of night, our son
might ask to swim, his grief a thing

just budding its teeth, and I will take him
down to the water, float his body like a lamp
I am offering to the other side.

© 2017, Erin Adair-Hodges. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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