Click here to listen to Chris Forhan read this poem.
Those overtime nights in the ice factory, eyeing gauges, greasing gears: that's one thing. And the hours of clarinet lessons.
All that rain that blathered on the patio, leaves
lifting and twisting, a demented semaphore. I hired myself
to crack that code, kept busy not conceiving you. I peopled
the past, got safely sad about that. I hammered together
a hut in the back of my brain to crawl inside and rest
from the labor of making it. My almost-daughter, my nearly-was son,
I was frugal, I made you wait till you grew
into the idea of waiting. See? These words hurt no one.