Landscape Where I Forget My Father

Jennie Malboeuf

The four corners of my eyeline are rich with distraction.
An aquarium, a library, a fun park, a creek. In this scene,
a shrike crosses the sky, spears a frog on some barb for later.

He looks like a songbird but is known as a butcher. In the map-center,
is a half-acre with dead dogwoods, a blue spruce, a fence built flush
with another fence. The dogwood trees are so dried out that they fall

from just a push.

Chosen by: Christian Stanzione, Assistant Poetry Editor

As a rule of thumb, I tend to be weary of poems that buck formatting trends. Why this selection then? While many “uniquely formatted” poems forgo their music in favor of aesthetic, this piece maintains and excels in both categories: Aesthetically because it is a poem that begs to move away from the pain of the past, and lyrically because of its attention to detail regarding the father it hopes to move away from (“He looks like a bluebird but is / known as a butcher”). The pain here is real, and so is our participation in it.

Art: Carolyn Guinzio, “Current: Undercurrent” Phoebe Issue 48.1

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