Register Thursday | May 28 | 2020
Family Dinners

Family Dinners

Three new poems

Drawing by Emilie Mannering.


We’re eating corn on the cob. We’re eating
wild rice with dried mushrooms
and my mother’s pickerel fillets.
And we’re remembering Granite Lake,
whose water let us see down
to those wave patterns in the bottom sand,
the shadows of the ripples on the surface
playing games with the solid ripples below.
I see my small feet, tan toes. My mother
cooking breakfast on the black wood stove.
The outdoor biffy, the canoes resting
mysteriously upside down and dry
in the boathouse. “The Smith boy,” my mother asks,
“the one with hair so blond it was white,
what was his name?” “Gordie,” my dad tells us.
And then we all remember the sunny afternoon
he drifted out beyond his depth, his white crew cut
sailing above the stiff orange life jacket,
that perfect boy, and his dad ran the length
of ...

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