Summer 1984 • Vol. VI No. 3 Voices in American Poetry |

Encounters

For My Father   I He began to climb the slender tree his weight familiar beneath him as he pulled.Where the waxy leaves grew thin, he could look down over the whole of California, Missouri, and into where the birches stopped around a small pool fed by a local creek, and in the pool, a woman bathing, he supposed, her back to him as he watched her slow movements, how her hands vanished beneath the surface, the water clinging to her waist, a loose garment.When he called to her, she turned and he was surprised when she did not speak or try to hide her body from him, a boy, and he watched as she walked to the center, silently, a white figure descending into blue. II Once, during the Occupation, he left the bars early, before the curfew, and followed footpaths into the woods above Kyoto.He watched as a storm approached and the coppery tops of trees grew green-black, dark as water when the fishing boats return.Each lightning flash made mist glow around him like mist in the

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Eric Pankey is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently Not Yet Transfigured (Orison Books, 2021). A chapbook called The Future Perfect: A Fugue is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Pankey is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University.

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By Eric Pankey

For My Father   I He began to climb the slender tree his weight familiar beneath him as he pulled.Where the waxy leaves grew thin, he could look down over […]

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