Fred Tarr

Rookie (11/22/ / Oil City, Pa)

Poem For The History Of Marriage (For Chris Hand) - Poem by Fred Tarr

Think of it this way:
the three boats and in each, the families.

the square sterns come and go at the dock.
now in each, the men are leaving.

their preparedness glints like the flanks
of sharks turning in water.

The oar digs in, its volume roils
against the boat's sides, the Sun's glare, -

the families commune between the past
and the water's lap;
The memory of progress is an inch away.

these are the families except one:
its boat lolls by the dock
as if in a backwater.

Imagine someone or something
has tied the rower's thunderstorm to a fence post.
The truck engine of the rower's years
is the whine of his heart's pump.

The rower makes a move & his family laughs.
His fierce growl, the rower's leg of Fear
against the gunnel, his anguished arms,
are they all for nothing?

Inside himself, he'd wound them all,
if he could. the breathless fortress
Of Centuries is in the woman's laugh.

The movement of her voice
gives the clear eye of her children
even now beginning to forget him.

& this last part for them:
the families adrift. the boat's stern
good in the shore's behalf.
timeless against the rock face.

he awakens and is immediately hungry.
he orders his jaw to cut through
the morning air. By what hours can the mind
sail timeless? Quelles sont les heures
d'ouverture et de fermenture?

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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