University of Southern Indiana

Against Grief

Sean Thomas Dougherty

Today I sat in the backyard. The sun on my forehead was cool as a cool hand.
When I was a boy. And my mother took my temperature. How in that moment
I knew I would not die. The same way I watched a blurry dragonfly hover above
my daughter’s head. It was a visitation. She reached up, laughing. No one in any
of the other backyards. A neighborhood of day shifts. Trains in the distance,
the sounds of traffic from the boulevard. The wind was just enough that we
needed jackets. You want me to tell you something more? Don’t you fucking get
it. Yes, I know you do or you wouldn’t be here. Because we’ve been broken. Because
I was sober. Don’t say anything. Receive me as I receive myself. Nothing was
shattered. My daughter was running across the long dead grass. The sunlight was
absently everywhere.

Sean-Thomas-Dougherty.jpg Sean Thomas Dougherty is the author or editor of fourteen books including the forthcoming All I Ask for Is Longing: New and Selected Poems 1994-2014 (BOA Editions), Scything Grace (2013 Etruscan Press), and Sasha Sings the Laundry on the Line (2010 BOA Editions). His awards include two Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowships in poetry and a Fulbright Lectureship for poetry to the Balkans. He currently works in a pool hall, gives readings around the nation, and teaches creative writing part-time at Cleveland State University.


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