Literature 9-3-2007

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Tim Brennan

"What Light: This Week's Poem," sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers, brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers. Look for our anthology, “What Light,” at Magers and Quinn in Uptown or on line.


dressed rehearsals

father broods on his

three room stage, rehearses
maybe; sips reheated

coffee. maybe he thinks

about mother; her character

now dead these two, almost

three years. outside,

the ever performing moon

murmurs listen but nothing

happens save for moths

banging against a cool porch

light, wings clapping under

fresnel stars. I have

questions: landscape

or seascape? comedy

or tragedy? where

have i been led? it is

as if i am just expected:

lines directed through

forty-two years of mother

dressed rehearsals; cameos

my emotional presence;

perhaps all the world

is a stage, but not all

men merely players:

one is a brooding

director, tugging the strings

of a heart; one is a struggling

understudy, still waiting

patiently for a script.


Tim Brennan is the writer of the first weekly poem on He’s been an English teacher and drama director for a southeastern Minnesota rural school for 22 years.

This is the first poem published in the pilot program for What Light: this inaugural program was called “The Poem of the Week,” and these poems are not archived with the What Light poems, so we are seizing the opportunity to republish them as we wait for the next round of What Light, our weekly juried poem-publication project.