November 24, 2013

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Waking in the morning anxious about troubled dreams he couldn’t trace was not a happy experience for today’s poet, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc of Portland. Yet he “took paper in trade” for it, and the description he wrote became today’s fine poem.  

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Reprinted from “Death of a Ventriloquist,” University of North Texas Press, 2012, by permission of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, special consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at or 228-8263. “Take Heart: Poems from Maine,” an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.Take Heart is proudly sponsored by ...

Worry Bone 

By Gibson Fay-LeBlanc 

Woke gnawing its remains. Air

the brackish tinge of depths I had


all night been swimming in. No bird

song from the vine-covered fence


my room looks out on – not even

the pigeons’ manic calls. I talked


myself down from the bed, a loft,

took paper in trade for the splintered


bone – human or animal

I don’t know. I’d picked it clean though,


chewed the joint, cracked one end,

sucked the marrow. Tell me,


Mind, why you ravaged this limb-part.

Tell me what its owner told you in the dark.


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