The Father

Christine Garren

He does things like cry
and I rush to him
then he goes like a small human whale to a room
where he can be alone—
this is our ninth house
and sometime late that night I understand
why we always change cities and houses
and jobs and alcohols—    it is the tree
that follows him;
the tree from which
his father’s body hung,
that is the tree that sways inside him.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
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CHRISTINE GARREN is the author of two poetry collections, Afterworld (University of Chicago, 1993) and Among the Monarchs (University of Chicago, 2000). She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and has served as Kenan Visiting Writer at University of North Carolina.