ONE DAY, HE SAID, I'D CARRY ON THE FAMILY NAME
I know my father’s stooped back
is my back, my lungs filling
with his breath like ground
cisterns collecting water deep
below the frost line. Each night
I pull off shoes, unlace
the creak of him from my ankles.
What in me, I wonder, is me
as the world goes on copying itself—
black seeds sprouting green,
egg sacks on the gray spider.
I walk to where iron gates open
to the corner graveyard and
the stones say: Snider, Snider, Snider.
Bruce Snider's "One Day, He Said, I'd Carry On the Family Name," and "Sky Burial" can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 3.
Bruce Snider is the author of two poetry collections, Paradise, Indiana and The Year We Studied Women. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, Poetry, Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry 2012. He is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco.