Poets

Search more than 3,000 biographies of contemporary and classic poets.

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown is author of The News (Copper Canyon Press, 2015). He is a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, public television’s nightly newscast.

By This Poet

1

Succession

One morning state police
escort us to your grave
the next my flight is canceled.

Maintenance issues breaking
out all over. You would speak
of a “grand theory,” something

tying all this together, but
you had none yourself, none
that reached me then or now

as I drive your car slowly
into the tranquil streets
of my youth. Here is where

I learned to ride a bike, on
this high hill that is no
hill at all. And still I fell.

And now you descend and
still I fall. And here is where
I learned to doubt, in the chapel

where we donned black skullcaps
that meant nothing, I tell you.
If god speaks it is elsewhere.

And here are my own children
rooted and uncertain
watching me speak to you.

You watched the news every night
worried if I did not make “air”—
traveling, sick, useless, lost.

Now that you are gone—
traffic parted by the state police—
can I, too, disappear?