TRee Logo

Charles Atkinson:

Wayland Press
675 S. Sherman Dr.
Denver CO, 80209

32 pp., $4.00

These poems tell of familiar, family situations. The speaker finds inspiration and life force in being a parent and watching his child grow. He also finds challenge and discord without answers. In the first poem, "Cleansing," the father wakes knowing that his child needs to urinate. He follows a familiar path through the dark house, takes the child to the toilet, and puts the child back to bed. A later poem, "Chopping a Mother's Piano," shows how painful growth and change can be even when no wrong is committed: "Three sons and a father did it:/ they used axes and a saw/ and the youngest a small hammer./ Too many broken keys to play or sell;/ it was too heavy to haul for junk./ On a snowing night they'd agreed/ to turn it to firewood and wire;/ even she'd nodded from her chair." The reader learns as the poem goes on that the mother had taught her sons to play, but they had turned away from music and toward baseball as they grew older. In breaking the piano, they painfully break a tie with her. That says a lot about the mood of the book.--Bob Grumman

Back to TapRoot Reviews homepage.

This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #4,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press