Poetry: Earth of a Father by Fabrice Poussin

Earth of a father

The earth is his; he tastes it, lives it
with every step of the old boot,
every wave of the raggedy coat;
a mere breath and he belongs.

Dust, paste, mud or rock, his life
like the sand of the hour glass;
the brick of a king’s palace;
the paint of the next masterpiece.

He works the soil, shapes the clay,
fuses with it in a brave alchemy;
It becomes him through every pore,
tiniest wrinkle, scratch and wound.

When the hour has come the undertaker
too is taken; as try as he may, never
will he rob the nails, violate the skin,
embalm the soul of the essence of man.

White, red, tan, thin, thick or mountain,
black as day, bright as night, he has become;
to earth he returns; whence he always was;
he loved his earth, and it loves him back.


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review and more than 200 other publications.