Literature 11-29-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Margaret Hasse

"What Light" presents a new poem by a Minnesota poet every week. The work is chosen by a jury of writers, publishers, and editors, and sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers.

Margaret Hasse


Charlie wakes and BAM –
hits the raw deck of boyhood

running and making noise.

With a sheet, he tents his morning

erection, then terrorizes his brother

by breaking into the bathroom naked.

He fires his golden pee into the toilet,

pretends to dribble his wad of pajamas

down the hall, shoots into the hamper:

SCORE! tipping over the basket.

He prongs his pancakes at breakfast,

takes his enormous energy off

to grade school.

I lean against the front door,

facing an empty house,

remembering how in his sleep

my little guy is still genderless

as a piglet with eyes sewed shut.

I stand by his bed with a mother’s gaze,

but a newspaper story I read

about a parent having sex

with her child taints my ease

in his young jazzy maleness,

in his enthusiasm for everything,

especially for me.

How to give up our bedtime kisses? –

Let’s make a movie, he says,

throwing his arms around me,

closing his eyes, and pressing

his Valentino lips fully on mine.


Margaret Hasse is a poet, teacher, and independent consultant to arts, education, and community non-profit organizations. Originally from South Dakota, Margaret moved to Minnesota in 1973 after graduating from Stanford University. She gained an M.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. For more than 15 years, she was involved as a teaching poet with programs such as Arts & Corrections, COMPAS Writers in the Schools, and The Loft. Her publications include Stars Above, Stars Below (New Rivers Press) and In a Sheep’s Eye, Darling (Milkweed Editions). She is working on a third book of poems. She lives with her husband and two sons in Saint Paul.


Margaret Hasse is author of five collections of poems including her latest, Between Us. Hasse is winner of several Minnesota State Arts Board grants, Loft-McKnight Awards, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has an M.A., University of Minnesota, English and creative writing B.A., Stanford University, English and creative writing. …   read more