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The Foundling Wheel by Blas Falconer

Posted 11.01.12

Poet Blas Falconer reads the title poem from his second collection, The Foundling Wheel, released in October by Four Way Books. To hear more, check out Falconer reading "The Annunciation" and "To press the air, to bless the silhouette."

The Foundling Wheel


They swept the river, caught the dead 
in nets. Then a wheel with a box 
let someone leave a child. As boats sway 
beneath the wall, their loose cords 

swing and clank the hollow masts, 
so the masts call out like dulled bells. 
At low tide, their hulls lie in mud. 
A mother rolls her stroller back and forth, 

looking at—the rain? My mind drifts at night, 
the current rising on the bank, 
the sound of water splashing from the roof. 

The blue curtain glows at dawn. 
I hear the gulls and don’t sleep well. 


The one who set her son adrift 
must have stood among the reeds 
as long as she could. The hand that throws 
the stone recalls its weight. 

A father’s body changes, too, 
on a molecular level: a small 
disturbance among fallen leaves, 
a soft thud. A stream of light

at dawn, the bells ring and ring, 
the world’s wheel turning toward 
this, the 6th day of October

the child sleeps beside our bed 
and you make toast with red plum jam. 

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