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NYT Mag features poem by Geffrey Davis

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Geffrey Davis' poem "What I Mean When I Say Chinook Salmon," from Revising the Storm, was selected by Natasha Trethewey as this week's Featured Poem for The New York Times Magazine!

According to Natasha Trethewey, the former U.S. Poet Laureate, "The poet Robert Hass wrote, 'A word is elegy to what it signifies,' a reminder that the language of a poem can be an act of memorialization. Here, the words that name an ordinary thing contain a world of experience for the speaker, evoking not only a sense of loss but also of longing."

What I Mean When I Say Chinook Salmon

By Geffrey Davis

My father held the unspoken version of this story
along the bridge of his shoulders: This is how
we face and cast to the river — at angles.
This is how we court uncertainty. Here, he taught
patience before violence — to hold, and then
to strike. My fingers carry the stiff

memory of knots we tied to keep a 40-lb. King
from panicking into the deep current
of the stream. Back home, kneeling
at the edge of the tub with our kills, he showed
the way to fillet a King: slice into the soft
alabaster of the pectoral, study the pink-rose notes

from the Pacific, parse waste and bone from flesh. Then,
half asleep, he’d put us to bed, sometimes with kisses.


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