Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


What Make a Man

what kind of wound make a man
set his favorite rooster loose

             on a dying hen    what make the man

snap the neck of that twice-broken bird
before his child’s eyes    what make him see

             the bad idea after the fact—what open him

like a storm    what make a man refuse
to ask forgiveness    what make him offer

             the sudden softness of his voice instead

what get the man loaded    what make him choose
to carry the small brightness of his child’s body

             through the cold sleeping city    —no—

what make a man decide to drift the roads anyway
so his child stay warm in the front seat

             what make him park the car two blocks away—

what arms filled and humming you are my sun-
shine each dark step of the way home

Credit


From Night Angler. Copyright © 2018 by Geffrey Davis. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of BOA Editions.

Author


Geffrey Davis

Geffrey Davis is the author of Night Angler, winner of the 2018 James Laughlin Award and forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2019. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Date Published: 2018-08-28

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/what-make-man