Cover image by Tim Auman; used by permission.
Publication date: September 15, 2010.
Gabriel Welsch is the author of Dirt and All Its Dense Labor, a collection of poetry published in 2006. Poems from that volume have been anthologized in volumes dedicated to Pennsylvania. His poetry and prose appear widely, in Georgia Review, New Letters, Harvard Review, Isotope, Southern Review, Mid-American Review, Chautauqua, Ascent, PANK, From the Fishouse, Missouri Review, Tar River Poetry, and many others. His honors include a Pennsylvania Arts Council grant for fiction, appointments as Thoreau Poet-in-Residence at the Toledo Botanical Garden and poet-in-residence at the Chautauqua Institution’s Writer’s Center, and four nominations for the Pushcart Prize.
Welsch has spent most of his life in Pennsylvania. He grew up in Warren and Downingtown, earned degrees at Penn State, where he also taught and worked in fundraising for a decade. He is now Vice President for Advancement and Marketing at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, where he lives and gardens with his wife and daughters.
What the Deaf Boy Heard
White water rumble, cool poplars,
grass green as a promise,
hollow shouts of children
running toward him over a field.
The chime of winter still
An echo, the hospital still a smother
of white, meningitis a word
thick with sound only recalled.
Now, a dump truck’s dusty passage,
gravel shifts and shivered leaves,
blue’s weight on the sky, the chicory,
and the depths of his own eyes, gazing
back at him from his mother.
She locks on him while her hands
rush before his face, a cloud of clover,
mint, bergamot and sage, nails
worn down each evening in the beds
where she sows what she can
from frailty, from injured stalks,
from old seeds, in the bounty
of rotted black soil.
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Please click here to order Gabe’s chapbook.
- Thanks to Nic Sebastian at Whale Sound for reading Gabe’s poem “What the Deaf Boy Heard.”
- Click here to open and download a broadside of Gabe’s poem “No Diving” over at Broadsided Press.