May 2010

Tracy Youngblom


Tracy Youngblom has a chapbook of poems, Driving to Heaven, forthcoming from Parallel Press. Her work has appeared in many publications over the years, including Shenandoah, North Stone Review, Poetry East, Potomac Review, and the anthologies 33 Minnesota Poets (Nodlin Press, 2001) and In a Fine Frenzy (University of Iowa, 2005).

I Think My Father    

had a heart. He wore it
outside his shirt sometimes
and sometimes it slept

in his chest. Now I hear
it's failed him. Poor heart, stumped
to beat. He can't work or walk

to the mailbox. They strapped
him to a table and grabbed
one of his veins

to try to rope it—
his body said no,
no I won't be tied together

by my own twine.
I think he refused
to speak. Oh, he's a big

two-hearted man.
He always won the women
who couldn't help it—

there it was, misplaced heart,
all wet and waiting
to be touched. Except

my mother kept
pushing it back inside,
not to hide it but so

she could rock it to sleep,
hear it sing to her a word
only she could understand.

Only, she could not understand
since its speech was slurred—
it sloshed and burped at her.

Old dry heart, now it croaks
in its case and stays put.
How long it'll last

or how quickly I'll race
to its final thump
I can't say.

Maybe I'll fly there
on the first arrhythmic shout
to see if it's true:

it will leap out
of his parted gown
into my cupped hands.

It would be fine
to see it. I could forgive the mess
on the bed for such an end

because I think my father
had a heart
he wants me to have.



Tracy Youngblom: Poetry
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