Published on Academy of American Poets (

Toy Cloud

The rabbit has stolen
The big bear’s pointy red hat.

The frog looks longingly
At its evaporating pond.

A powerful glow comes
Off the sunflower

So everyone wears goggles.
My son rolls around in the ferns.

It seems he has overdosed
On sugar cookies.

Does he care about the bear’s hat?
To him I am a ghost on a bicycle.

I remember my father’s mouth
Reading aloud beneath his beard.

He is hiding in my face.
The toy cloud is filled with rain.


Copyright © 2014 by Nathan Hok. Used with permission of the author. 

About this Poem

“As a tri-generational ‘daddy’ poem, ‘Toy Cloud’ plays a game of tag from child to father to father. It’s not exactly what Wordsworth meant when he wrote that the child is father of man, but somehow the phrase seems to apply.”
Nathan Hoks


Nathan Hoks

Nathan Hoks is the author of The Narrow Circle (Penguin Books, 2013), selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series, and Reveille (Salt Publishing, 2010).

Date Published: 2014-12-05

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