Poem of the Week
January 20, 2021
This morning the snow
lowered so slowly, I was able
to lift my son—still in pajamas—
and show him each delicate
tendril of frost, the arctic structure
of a solitary flake. I was able
to make coffee and think only
of making coffee, a sensation
so sudden and dangerous
in its delight, I had to dilute it
by burning the toast. This morning
I breathed deeply, clicked on
the television and watched—
for a moment—a Boeing VC-25 fade
over our capital and dwindle
from sight. Nothing says revenge
like dwindling from sight. Later,
I’ll hear the new president pledge
to be better, try a bit harder.
I will try to believe him
the way a child believes a father
in an overcoat, by the door.
But for now, all is quiet.
My coffee tastes delicious,
and nothing says revenge like
the stillness of snow.
Copyright © 2022 by Jared Harél
January 2021 is selected as poem of the week, Arc Magazine. It is written by an American author Jared Harel. Father of two children Harel lives in Queens Newyork, that place is a perpetual inspiration for his writing. A place of diversity though united in core. Harel teaches creative writing at Nassau Community College and has done multiple jobs. He plays drums for the rock-band Flying J and the Ghostrobber and apart from that, also worked in his father’s automatic repair shop.This poem is written in a mirthy mood. 20 January 2021 was the inauguration day of the American president and that morning in Queens was littered with the falling flecks of snow. Here in this exquisite poem we see an optimistic future twinning along with the delicious coffee in the background of cool flecks. It all is laced with a bit of apprehension which is reflected in the metaphor of dwindling flight. Lines are evolving in a continuous trail of minute fragments and this poem catches at once in its stark simplicity. Poetic devices are scarce here and simple narrating lines are great enough to compensate for them in its nice narrating tone. Father is peeping along with his little son out of the window. In words of American author David Thane Cornell, a great poem has three ingredients: Psychic energy, along with the voice of a child, fused with a certain amount of adult grief.
Here all three elements have evolved in fine equilibrium.
Biography: Jared Harél is the author of Go Because I Love You (Diode Editions, 2018) and The Body Double. The winner of the Diode Editions Book Award, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, and the William Matthews Poetry Prize, he lives in Queens.