Monday Mar 27

TretheweyNatasha Natasha Trethewey is author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (U of Georgia P);  Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002) which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association; and Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000). Her collection Thrall is due for publication in 2012. 

She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her poems have appeared in such journals and anthologies as American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry.  At Emory University she is Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing. 


From the next room I hear my father’s voice,
a groan at first, a sound so sad I think he must be
reliving a catalogue of things lost: all the dead
come back to stand ringside, the glorious body
of his youth—a light heavy weight, fight-ready
and glistening—that beauty I see now in pictures.
Looking into the room, I half imagine I’ll see him
shadowboxing the dark, arms and legs twitching
as a dog runs in sleep. Tonight, I’ve had to help him
into bed—stumbling up the stairs, his arm a weight
on my shoulders so heavy it nearly brought us down.
Now his distress cracks open the night; he is calling
my name. I could wake him, tell him it’s only a dream,
that I am here.  Here is the threshold I do not cross;
a sliver of light through the doorway finds his tattoo:
the anchor on his forearm, tangled in its chain.