Roger Craik
Roger Craik reads his poetry during Lix & Kix at the 806 in Cleveland on 18 November 2008
[photo by Jesus Crisis]

Poem for Him

Although he doesn’t know it, these days are the last
of his marriage.  Perhaps he’s reading now
on his side of the bed, beneath his lamp, while you
peruse the book of myths my father bought
second-hand, in England, twenty years ago.
The date is written in the front, in fountain pen.

I’ve hated him, or rather, I should say,
the thought of him for close on fifteen months.
But on this evening with late summer rain
drumming warm against the windows of my house
that gives upon the lake, I ask myself
if it’s indulgence, now you say your future’s mine

that now it’s him, him whose pain at once seems real,
I think of as he turns to sleep
toward you still, your face turned to the wall,
and hopes tomorrow you’ll be once again
as once you were
to him.

And suddenly, as thought folds darkly into thought,
I realize how much, this moment, now,
over a bottle, or maybe two,
of red wine in some café that he’d choose,
I’d like to talk with him, just him,
about Stravinsky, Brendan Behan, the price of birdseed by the pound —


* * * * *

(c) 2007 by Roger Craik, all rights reserved
Taken from Those Years – a volume in the vanZeno Press Professional Reading Series
Used by permission of the poet

Biographical note adapted from the back cover of Those Years:

Roger Craik, Associate Professor of English at Kent State University, Ashtabula, has written three full-length poetry books – I Simply Stared (2002), Rhinoceros in Clumber Park (2003), and The Darkening Green (2004) – and his work has appeared in several national poetry journals, including The Formalist, The Literary Review, and Fulcrum.

English by birth and educated at the universities of Reading and Southampton, Craik has worked as a journalist, TV critic and chess columnist.  Before coming to the USA in 1991, he worked in Turkish universities and was awarded a Beineke Fellowship to Yale in 1990.  He is widely traveled, having visited North Yemen, Egypt, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, Poland, and Bulgaria (where he taught during the spring of 2007 on a Fulbright Scholarship).

For more by Dr. Roger Craik, please explore these volumes: