Pick-a-Poem: “Freeze”

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Good morning, readers, and welcome to another featured poem. This week, we found our poem at Poetry Daily, which is a really helpful site if you’re looking for daily poems, daily inspiration, or anything about poetry. The poem this week is entitled Freeze and it’s written by Ed Pavlić.

According to his page on the Poetry Daily site, Ed Pavlić has written “five previous books, most recently But Here Are Small Clear Refractions. He has been awarded the American Poetry Review / Honickman First Book Prize and is a National Poetry Series award winner, in addition to receiving fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard College. He teaches English at the University of Georgia.”

Freeze, by Ed Pavlić

 I ask.

When they turn around I take my giant steps.

The ones I asked for. My dad works on the city.
Road crew.

I don’t know why I’m scared
when tires hit gravel
but I know my blood tastes

like if I put a penny in my mouth. Eyes closed.
I wait for scratches on my face.

I love the awful way

the word “whisker” pictures how

a storm darks sky and does big
trees in the park. My dad’s breath

smells like when the world goes away,
like when I hide in the green

fog behind “Old Abe,” I put paper over the word
& rubbed it with my dirty thumb: Continental.

My dad warms it up. That means he leaves

it alone. I love the spooky way
running in the rain

streaks my dusty face to where I look like my own
ghost, or something sneaky, an egg stealer,
one that stays up all night.

Before it begins, I can smell cold rain

deep in my mom’s hair where my fingers feel

the bumps start they start like when rain starts.
In my bed, alone. I hear

the house breathe. I love the only way
a summer wind blows night’s long dress

down our empty street. In thru my open
window, a shadow

of a smile I can’t see into crosses over my face

I hope you enjoyed this week’s featured poem. For more of these, trawl our archives.

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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