Friday Poetry with James Goertel: Song for a Son

Friday Poetry with James Goertel: Song for a Son

SONG FOR A SON from James Goertel’s bi-weekly poetry feature, Under The Same Moon, confronts the reality and wonder of being a parent.

Friday Poetry with James Goertel Song for a Son

Route 231 bridge across the Correntoso River that flows into Lake Nahuel Huapi. Photo credit: wikipedia


I am writing to you with the smoke from a chimney,

so it is only natural your eyes are tearing as you read this.

I will not always be here,

dispersed by the wind as well in time.

But I will still be there.

You need only look, listen, and feel.

Your mirrors will hold messages and reminders.

The birds outside your door will hold songs and stories.

Your heart will hold longing and emotion.

So burn brightly, strong through all the nights

you will set ablaze without me after I am gone.

I will find your smoke among the stars

and it will be my blanket against the cold of death.


James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


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Born in North Dakota, James Goertel spent twenty years working in television for ABC, NBC, and ESPN, among many others in the U.S. He currently teaches writing at Penn State. Carry Each His Burden (2011) was his fiction debut. Each Year an Anthem (2012) was his poetry debut. With No Need for a Name (2012) and Self Portrait (2013) are his follow-up collections. His debut novel Let the Power Fall will be published in 2014.

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