Poem in My Mother’s Voice
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.
Copyright © 2020 by Augusta Funk
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
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.
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.
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