Home > Poetry > Care
Published: Wed Jul 1 2009
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California

for my father

When I give it away
and it comes back
blown to bits, windburnt,
sheared to pulp, when I do that
and know its name is still
something without burden attached,
something which sleeps
and owns nothing, that is when
I am finished wanting more for it,
though it has trouble breathing
and can no longer sing.  That is when
the watercolor edge of things
grows both alien and sure.  And no warning
in the weather hopes to change us.  It is here
where nothing has been
it stands and blooms
regardless of care.  Our hands
dip into a pool
that has grown cold

Carol Ann Davis is the author of the poetry collections Psalm (Tupelo Press, 2007) and Atlas Hour (Tupelo, 2011) and a forthcoming essay collection, The Nail in the Tree: On Art, Violence, and Parenting (Tupelo, 2019). Her work has been published in The Georgia ReviewAGNI, The American Poetry ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewBeloit Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. An NEA fellow and finalist for a National Magazine Award, she is professor of English at Fairfield University, where she is founding director of Poetry in Communities, an initiative that brings writing workshops to communities hit by sudden or systemic violence. She lives in Newtown, Connecticut. (updated 4/2019)

Back to top