This week, a poem by Trenton Pollard.


The Gift


Someone gave you a book once
and it changed you—
the way love fell like light into shadow
only to succumb to nightfall:

things left unsaid in the driveway.
No one wanted to be the first to leave the car,
and once inside, the first to fall asleep.
You cannot reread what you miss
while dreaming,
so you stayed awake to escape,
scanning the pages for something useful:

sledding, sloshing toward the tree.
Unswervable the windless arrow.
The letter promising happiness
burned unread, and therefore unsent,

In Old Marseille the ships
gathered at dawn
and you were wounded by hope:

you knew from his selection that he loved you,
and from reading the book
that it wouldn’t matter.


Originally from Michigan, TRENTON POLLARD has worked as a welder, political organizer, graphic designer, and massage therapist. He is a graduate student at Columbia University, where he is the nonfiction editor of Columbia Journal Online. Prior to moving to New York City, he studied poetry at Bennington College and North Carolina State University. Recent poems have been published or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Memorious, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.

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