“Fathers” by Mike White

Mike White


This one saws the board.
This one sees the board
but does not saw it, or not
as his father sawed it.
This one saws
his kids in half
but does not see it.
This one is bored.
This one still sees what he saws,
his second wife says.
This one saws to have something
real to seize.
This one for the scent of pine.
This one for the sound.
This one sees saws
as everything around him
comes slowly crashing down.

from Rattle #46, Winter 2014
Rattle Poetry Prize Finalist


Mike White: “‘Fathers’ is clearly a playful poem. Though more and more I see all poems—even deathbed poems—as rooted in an impulse to play. After all, aren’t we most in earnest, and most ourselves, when we’re playing? Aren’t we never more fully alive?”

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