Published on Academy of American Poets (

My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is

My son wants to know 
his name. What does he look like? What does 
he like? My son swims 
four days a week. When my son swims 
underwater, he glides 
between strokes. When he glides underwater, he is 
an arrow aimed 
at a wall. Four days a week, his coach says, 
coming up for air. 
My father had blue eyes, blonde hair,
though mine are brown. 
My father could not speak 
Spanish and wondered, How can you love 
another man? We rarely touched. 
When my son 
is counting, I count 
with him. I say, I am 
your father, too. 1…2… 


Copyright © 2019 by Blas Falconer. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 18, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“One day I was listening to my son’s swim coach and her feedback on his breaststroke, how he couldn’t muscle his way across the pool, how stillness and patience were important components of good technique. To encourage this, she had him count while his head was under the water, and it seemed like good advice for a lot of things, bearing what troubles you, for example, or writing a poem that is particularly challenging.”
—Blas Falconer


Blas Falconer

Blas Falconer is the author of three poetry collections, including Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books, 2018). He teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Date Published: 2019-03-18

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