Gaunt Pleasures

by Todd Fredson


This act of remembering is my greatest infidelity.
It steals back the length of other days. Long drift-away

from loved ones washing plates, checking
the phone’s messages. Sons feeding chickens,

playing on swings outside. They carry forward,
all vitality and desire.

For me, grief becomes a measure of time,
an oil slick across these calm days.

I should stretch myself from the orchard ladder,
knick my hands in the branches, then pulp, then press the cider.

But memory is such an elegant lure—the moon’s hook
stopped in the river.


Read Todd Fredson’s Late Summer: To the Bride, Rain Off the Gulf of Guinea, and The Sorting Grounds

Or read more poetry in our current issue