By Bob Hicok
At forty-eight, to be given water,
which is most of the world, given life
in water, which is most of me, given ease,
which is most of what I lack, here, where walls
don’t part to my hands, is to be born
as of three weeks ago. Taking nothing
from you, mother, or you, sky, or you,
mountain, that you wouldn’t take
if offered by the sea, any sea, or river,
any river, or the pool, beside which
a woman sits who would save me
if I needed saving, in a red suit, as if flame
is the color of emergency, as I do,
need saving, from solid things,
most of all, their dissolve.
Source: Poetry (July 2009)
Bob Hicok is the author of several collections of poems. He once worked in the automotive die industry and owned his own business, Progressive Technology. He has also taught creative writing at Western Michigan University and Virginia Tech. When asked by interviewer Laura McCullough about the relationship between restraint and revelation in his work, Hicok replied, “Because I don’t know where a poem is headed when I start, it seems that revelation has to play a central part in the poems, that what I’m most consistently doing is trying to understand why something is on my mind. . . . Maybe writing is nothing more than an inquiry into presences.”
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