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Two Poems by Peter LaBerge | Word Riot
Poetry

February 15, 2015      

Two Poems by Peter LaBerge


Listen to a reading of “Hook” by Peter LaBerge.

HOOK

It was the summer I learned the difference
between muscle and mussel, my father

and the boy he found washed-up and empty
mouthed the last night of the fishing trip.

Proud of how I chose wine over seawater
three nights in a row. How fast my fingers spun

around the skirted spool, brought him gasping
through the reeds. In the shell of an instant tent,

I whispered his name until it spread thin
as a current over us, dragged something

away I could never replace. I passed a load
to him like a fish baited on a rod, wriggling

from a son to his proud father. In the morning,
the sand was strewn with more mussel carcasses.

The shells blackened, vacant as memory
in my father’s calloused hands.


Listen to a reading of “POEM WITH CHANGING WINDS” by Peter LaBerge.

POEM WITH CHANGING WINDS

I could never slit myself
        into waves like the men

in this club each night,
        could never reach

                inside myself, summon
        all the right sails.

If God sends me a wind
        tonight, I might capsize

                into His lap. His fingers
        over me, still the trace of salt.

If we were the boat, I would be
        the sea for Him, pride

in such idleness. Stowed
        within the hull, a school

                of unlucky trout: so poor
        and flopping, they must have

more to say. I am sure
        a man on another coast

                has capsized, but tonight
        this is my wish. From him,

I’d hear the summoning
        of a better world, and know

he is laughing or drowning

295562_568535656491046_693565486_nAbout the author:

Peter LaBerge is the author of the chapbook Hook (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). His work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Redivider, Copper Nickel, Best New Poets 2014, DIAGRAM, and Indiana Review, among others. He lives in Philadelphia, where he is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania and the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal. For more: www.peterlaberge.com.

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