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    illustration of a cicada on a branch

    Poem: “The Revenant”

    By Aaron Poochigian

    February 4, 2023
    • Edward Hamilton

      Definitely one for the "I'm not crying, you're crying" file. Hits hardest the first time through, when the ending is unexpected and feels like an abrupt shift in the lighter tone. Interesting to read the poem in my own head first and then hear the recording afterward. I heard the poem in an subdued and nostalgic voice, not the firmer and more forceful one in the reading.

    That winter when awareness flies away
    and I keep losing keys and cat and mind,
    time will be falling, time will fall behind
    over and over, dimmer day by day.

    Surprise, then, will decide the way of things,
    and I won’t bother over what life means.
    Youth will revive at times, and playground scenes—
    me in the sandbox, friends on slides and swings.

    May I at least once find you on the lawn,
    lie there, your spry lap holding up my head,
    and worship you, since you are ten years dead
    and I want to forget that you are gone.

    illustration of a cicada on a branch

    HyunJung Kim, Prayer of a Cicada, gold powder on paper, 2017. Used by permission.

    Contributed By AaronPoochigian Aaron Poochigian

    Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. His work has appeared in such publications as Best American Poetry, the Paris Review, and Poetry.

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