One of the Dummies at Night 

By Gibson Fay-LeBlanc 

He slept in the tinder box

his master made, and oak

grain governed the dreaming –



his left eye clouded over,

he closed the other and saw

mild applause in his future.


His bed sat at a crevice

edge, pure pitch below,


and a cold wind slowed


the senses, rising from who

knows where. Later his mind

became its pin, eschewed



dowels and string and leapt

into the dark. The fall

was pleasurable, apt:


there were no voices

in the breeze, no speeches

to open his mouth.


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 (207) 228-8263.

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