Poem by Bruce Weigl

Nineteen fifty-seven: you

            remember the fins,

don’t you,

            on the baby-

blue-and-white Bel Air?

            Beyond the pigeon coop of ghosts,

beyond the

            many-colored rabbits

penned for the evening

            by the tap-tap


of the old man’s cane, you can see

            another man

through the muslin iof time

            throw his baby

high into the air. Women


            scream from the porch, laughing.

Oh, the night is thick with blossoms

            from the blue plum tree,

and this man is full of liquor

            and of his own young life,


so he throws his baby boy

            high into the sky

as it is taken by evening

            Irrevocably away from them

so that it seemed

            that I would not come down. 

NOTE: “Folktales” is found in The Unraveling Strangeness (2002), a poetry collection by Bruce Weigl. (Available at Critic Denise Levertov called Weigl “one of the best poets now writing in America.”