Even in America we are, all of us, living with the past. That, in Eliot’s words, “all time is eternally present” may be especially evident in the aged habitations of New England, but the broad and open southern plains, although they may look like a blank slate, are also haunted. There are, after all, fathers and sons there, and complicated relationships produce ghosts.

The poems in B. H. Fairchild’s An Ordinary Life explore the unresolvable, undefinable relationship between fathers and sons.