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


Fixed Interval

When he turns fifteen, you'll be fifty-four.
When he turns thirty, you'll be sixty-nine.
This plain arithmetic amazes more
than miracle, the constant difference more
than mere recursion of father in son.
If you reach eighty, he'll be forty-one!

The same sun wheels around again, the dawn
drawn out and hammered thin as a copper sheet.
When he turns sixty you'll be gone.
Compacted mud, annealed by summer heat,
two ruts incise this ghost-forsaken plain
and keep their track width, never to part or meet.

Credit


Copyright © 2012 by Devin Johnston. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Devin Johnston

Devin Johnston was born in Canton, New York in 1970, and grew up in North Carolina. He received a PhD from the University of Chicago.

Johnston is the author of several collections of poetry, including Far-Fetched (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), Traveler: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), and Sources (Turtle Point Press, 2008), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A co-founder of Flood Editions, Johnston teaches at Saint Louis University in Missouri where he lives. 

Date Published: 2012-02-13

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fixed-interval