My father split his attentionwith an icepick. Crushed four fingersof a tumbler, lit ten cigaretteslike birthday candles, blew them out.He offered me the olives—each roundbitter, salt and ethyl on my tongue—a trucewithout words. I understoodwhat was agreed uponthose nights when twounlikely things were forced together—I slipped the slick red hearts from their cavities.I was a kid; I was helping.
“After Work” from IN THE NIGHT FIELD: by Cameron McGill.
Published by Augury Books June 1st, 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Cameron McGill.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Cameron McGill is the author of Meridians (Willow Springs Books, 2020) and In the Night Field (Augury Books, 2021). He has released six albums, most recently 2013’s Gallows Etiquette. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, and elsewhere. He teaches at Washington State University, where he co-directs the Visiting Writers Series.
"All fire and surprise, sadness and forgiveness...I could never say enough about the beauty of this work."
"Cameron's poems are wonderfully full, energetic, and ardent."
"McGill skillfully navigates the mysteries of relationship, memory, and regret as the best poets do."