Published on Academy of American Poets (

For the Child's Mole

we won’t tell you where it lies, as in time
we might need the minor intimacy
of that secret. just creatures, heavy with hope
& begging against the grave song inside
our living, we have agreed his death is
the one cold chord we refuse to endure

from the sorry endlessness of the blues.
& if ever we fail to bear the rate at which
we feel the world pining for the body
of our boy, we can conjure that mole—the small
brown presence of it tucked where only tenderness
would think to look—& recall when it seemed

nothing about our child could drift beyond
the terrible certainty of love’s reach.


Copyright © 2019 by Geffrey Davis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 26, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This sonnet is a choral flailing against how much my second book, in offering moments of a new life with our child, has risked sounding too much like parting with our child’s new life. It’s a confession and prayer that, like most parents-in-love, we haven’t figured out how to fit a (healthy) version of in our mouths, of keeping our child’s going from happening to us.”
—Geffrey Davis


Geffrey Davis

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

Date Published: 2019-03-26

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