May 26, 2012

Lawrence Russ


Father, you must admit
your parents were fabulous

tennis players—
especially your mother

with that flaming backhand slash!
But, sadly, they had no ball.

Then, you were born …
Years later, they served you to me,

but my racquet had no strings.
Father, you passed right through me.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005
Tribute to Lawyer Poets


Lawrence Russ: “My urge toward poetry probably began in the darkness and cold of my early childhood, with a wish to make my unseen, uncared-for self visible and compelling to others. Finding a way to do that led from the fairy tales I heard and read as a tot, to the Dr. Seuss books that my third-grade teacher recited with such gusto, to the poems of Eliot, Frost and Thomas that excited and intrigued me as a thirteen-year-old. But poetry, in the end, isn’t self-expression or self-enhancement. It’s a fidelity and grace in using words as best we can to help bring people life, and life more abundantly.”