Poem by Wesley McNair




DISAVOWAL

Go ahead and believe
that this vacant house
in the shifting grass

remembers those nights
when the husband's headlights
flew against its side.

It is only a house.
How could it know the wife
stood each day at its window--

that thin wall
between her and everything
she wanted--or hear

the dutiful child
taking apart and putting
together the same, sad

cluster of notes. Go ahead
and think that in the darkness
under the eaves

it is aware
of this new couple
turning into the driveway

to approach its silent door:
the frowning man with the key,
the wife amazed by the view,

their daughter running across
the roof-shaped shadow
shifting in the wind.


Wesley McNair lives in Mercer, Maine and teaches
at the University of Maine at Farmington. He has won
many awards for his poetry, including the Devins
Award for his first book, *The Faces of Americans in
1853* (U Missouri, 1983), the Theodore Roethke Prize
from *Poetry Northwest*, and the Sarah Josepha Hale
Medal. His last two volumes of poetry, *The Town
Of No* and *My Brother Running*, were reissued as
a single volume in 1997 from David Godine.





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