By Robert Fanning
Maggie’s finishing a portrait
of our family, gluing googly eyes
onto a stately stick figure
I hope is me. Now she doesn’t know
who to play with, as other kids,
pockets full of posies,
all fall down. She wears my face
superimposed. I almost tap
the glass, point her toward
the boy with yellow trucks.
Lost, she stares out the window
toward the snow-humped pines
beyond the playground.
When I’m dead, I hope there’ll be a thin pane
such as this between us. I’ll stand forever
out in the dark to watch my grown children
move through their bright rooms.
Maybe just once they’ll cup
their hands against the glass, caught
by some flicker or glint,
a slant of light touching their faces.
Robert Fanning is the author of American Prophet (Marick Press), The Seed Thieves (Marick Press) and Old Bright Wheel (Ledge Press Poetry Award). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Atlanta Review, and other journals. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, he is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. He is also the founder and facilitator of the Wellspring Literary Series in Mt. Pleasant, MI., where he lives with his wife, sculptor Denise Whitebread Fanning, and their two children. To read more of his work, visit www.robertfanning.wordpress.com.
Editor’s Note: Today’s poem is dedicated to my father, who I know is watching me through the glass. I see you in every flicker and glint, now and always.
Want to read more by and about Robert Fanning?
Robert Fanning’s Website
Poems Featured in Journals
Youtube: Robert Fanning Reading at Poetry@Tech Series, Atlanta, GA
Robert Fanning Interviewed by Grace Cavalieri on “The Poet and the Poem,” at The Library of Congress
Buy Robert Fanning’s Books via SPD