Jan/Feb 2013 Poetry

Two Poems

by David Oestreich

The Moment I Realized My Daughter, Eleanor, Would Be a Poet

She had lost her tooth
(by which I mean
she could not find it)
and had nothing
to put that night beneath
her pillow. She began
explaining to me
there was much more
to this tooth fairy thing
than I supposed.
She'll still give me
money. She knows all
about your life, when
you lose each tooth. You
have to leave it
under your pillow.
That's just one way
to do it 'cause it's fun.

I stood admiring her—
her synthesis of hope
and fancy, and the wild,
incredible conclusion
to which she clung.


Paraphrase and Refrain

You may know
the uselessness of a thing
by the nobility of its name.

You may say orison,
orison, orison
to absolutely no effect.

You may name dead dogs,
suspected miracles,
a virgin aunt, and never know

it is yourself you offer
each night
on the altar of your bed.


Previous Piece Next Piece