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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.