Poem in My Mother’s Voice

Augusta Funk

after G.E. Patterson

I was given some horses. And the horses carriedmy body from the playground to the war and back again.They must have passed through my life as children,the men who ran ahead of me, dropping like small animalswho had grown smaller and more furious with each bulletor number on a die. Otherwise I was cared for, was givengloves against the rain and made to garden along the road.I was nowhere. Flickering mountain passes. Trucks slidingto the left and right. In my father's voice I said get out.Never mind I was given some horses. Lightbulbs applesglasses of sweet tea. I worked for a man who wrotehis name on everything. And the horses stood in a fieldacross from the hospital where I taught you to hold a forkin your left hand while cutting, in your right while bringing foodto your mouth. You were born between roads that werenever yours. Crayons and magazines, cut-out snowflakesand paper gowns. You were given some horses, some roads.

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Print This Poem

Augusta Funk is a recent graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, and The Offing, among others. Originally from Ohio, she divides her time between Montana and Michigan, where she teaches preschool.


Fall 2020

Anchorage, Alaska

University of Alaska Anchorage

Ronald Spatz

Senior Affiliate Editors
Robert Clark
Stephanie Cole
Christine Byl
Amy Meissner
Carol Sturgulewski
Hannah Perrin King
Shane Castle
Debra Pennington Davis

Alaska Quarterly Review is one of America's premier literary magazines and a source of powerful, new voices. Works originally from AQR have appeared in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards; The Pushcart Prize; The Beacon Best; The Best American Mystery Stories; The Best American Essays; The Best American Nonrequired Reading; and The Best American Poetry.

"One of the nation's best literary magazines."
The Washington Post Book World

"Original and fresh."
—Stuart Dybek

"Playing an impressive part in our national literature."
—Laura Furman, Series Editor Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards

"Highly recommended and deserves applause."
—Bill Katz, Library Journal

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.