“Serious People” by Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco

Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco


That’s what we want
for our children, isn’t
it? Shoulders that fit
like shoulder pads. Not
sloping gravel ones, the pieces
flying off. I need
to make everything small, so I can
see. Pennies
with dates stamped
because somehow that will
matter. Tips
of teeth.
Someone told me once
his biggest fear
is death. No,
I’m just kidding! It was
failure. Like it might
come out and eat
him. Like
the people on the street would somehow
It’s springtime now. I’m watching hawks
during my meetings, holding cloud-
shade on their backs.
All the heart-
shaped arcs of bees
doing their work.

from Poets Respond
April 16, 2023


Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco: “I realize there are a thousand more important things happening in the world at large right now, but I wanted to write about the line of dialogue on Succession where Logan tells his children that he loves them, but they aren’t serious people. Succession was in the news a lot this week for various reasons (I’m not getting into spoilers here or in the poem), and something about that line hit me really hard because I feel like I can relate. Thank you for the chance to send these and for reading them all every week!”

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