Oval

David Till


I had been looking for my fatherʹs face,
not the one, with its little whiskers, rubbed
against mine before I was ʺoldʺ‐‐that face
made me loved.

And not the one, of course,
in the photograph‐‐any one. Which face,
then? I think the one I surprised in the toolshed
before he knew I was there‐‐Iʹd come so quietly
through shadows of late afternoon.

It was
thoughtful, and sad.

Behind the shed, the river
went by gathering light it carried along.
My father raised his hand to salute, or dismiss,
or wave farewell to a random idea he had,
and then he turned, maybe, to where I was,
and what I saw was no face at all, was an oval
of dusky light the shape of a face that had gone
where the river goes. That one.

 



In Praise of Oval

“David Till has produced in Oval a collection that encompasses the full circle of experience…. The 58 poems take a wide range of forms and lengths, including everything from the expressionistic, fragmentary “About Trout” (’...Go stardust / One goes off hot inside / yr dream hand’), to the joyous occasional piece “Two Poems for their Wedding”: (‘I could say: dogwood are like moonlight, / or like wedding gowns in the dark church; / but to me, / they are cold banks of snow in the mountains…’) The disparate quality of the poems is offset by Till’s consistently gentle, grounded sensibility….”

—Maria Browning, The Nashville Scene



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