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Weekly Poem: ‘How to Make Fatherhood Lyrical’

By Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

I could describe the arc of piss
as sanctifying the changing table

or argue that his wailing resembles
a certain style of opera —

one develops a taste for its peaks
as evidence of proper training,
the cultivation of a gift.

I might tell you that when the dog
tugs the leash in one direction

and the stroller rolls in the other
it’s similar to the push and pull

of family and vocation, and each
in turn alters its course.

Surely I’d do some research and
touch on why gerbils eat their young

and moose will charge if you dare step
between a mother and her calf.

But none of this is the basic truth
I tell myself or don’t,
depending on the morning:

it’s not a set of lyrics, it’s prose —
as in pedestrian, a man

on foot, not some freak stallion,
not a Clydesdale, not even a draft —

and every day I have to choose
whether to write myself in

gf_head_shot_credit_Derek_Davis_video_small.jpgGibson Fay-LeBlanc is a writer and teacher. His first collection of poems, “Death of a Ventriloquist,” won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published by the University of North Texas Press in 2012. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his family and is working on a novel.

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