2 Poems–K.C. Hanson

The Boatman

–for Charon

Its function makes a boat. Function formed
by grace. The light curve of the gunnel
out, up, in, terminated
at the bow, broken only by the oarlock’s swell.
The waterline dancing with the water’s edge
rocking at the dock, riding the small
waves against the rope, slapping the stern turned
fountain. The gliding way she leaves this wall
and the way the keel cuts the water, peels
the liquid sheets this way and that, the white
foam falling, swirling in the great V, feels
like joy, like love, like dancing on the light.
It’s the kind of thing should last forever, steals
the pennies from your eyelids, restores your soul to sight.


in Minnesota, loud is cinnamon,
baking. The “big fish,” and the “get the net.”
There’s not much need for an exclamation point.
Excitement here moves forward like a pawn
at end game–step by step and on and on
until the weather forces it to quit.
Even that is not lively. We’re used to it.
Autumn snaps our line and the fish is gone.

Still, there is that aroma, that ever sprinkling
hint of whatever is going on, a taste
forever dreamed of yet always here,
that keeps, in a sense, the whole thing going
like apples in a crust, baking, laced
with cinnamon. Minnesota. Here.

grew up on a small farm near Webster, North Dakota, and spent six years in the Marine Corps before picking up poetry in college. He received his MFA from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2005, and now teaches composition at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, also in Moorhead, where he lives with his wife and two Brittany Spaniels, Riley O’Riley and Allis Chalmers.


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