Welcome to this month’s poetry classroom, with poet and professor Todd Davis. We invite you to respond to the poems we’ll share here—their forms, images, sounds, meanings, surprises—ask questions of Todd and each other, and write your own poems along the way.
What Lives in the Wake of Our Sleep
I dream of peaches on the tree by the river,
of my youngest son lost along its muddy banks.
When I wake night’s worry trails me to the bathroom
and later to the breakfast table. It is winter here
and the tree is bare. The peaches wait in the freezer
until my wife thaws them for cobbler. Each morning
my boy climbs the black steps of the school bus
and leaves me to what lies in the loose folds
of these sheets: the bed unmade, the mud untracked.
1. How many meanings of “wake” can you think of, that make sense in the title of this poem?
2. Consider the word “lies” near the end of the poem. What might it suggest?
3. The dream is of peaches on a tree, but the tree in real life is bare. What do you make of it?
Great Teaching or Learning Resource on How to Read a Poem