On a soft summer Virginia evening Shelly Wagner was pushing her five-year-old son in a tire swing in the backyard, idling away the hours between dinner and bedtime. She left him only for a moment, but when she returned Andrew had disappeared. He was found later that night, drowned in the river behind their home. From the depths of grief that followed, Wagner began to write poems - not as therapy, she says, but to see if she could express the range of her experience more fully than the published books shed read. What emerged from Wagners quest is a volume of verse that has comforted and inspired thousands of parents, patients, and other determined survivors. 'These clear, unflinching poems wherein she evokes the life and death of her five-year-old son are moving and unforgettable...You will remember Andrew as if you had known him, this delightful boy' - RUTH STONE Treasure. Follow my hand into this trunk. Examine for yourself its treasure. Lift and read the heavy wooden board, a scrap of lumber on which he scrawled his name red letters, all capitals, the E backwards. In kindergarten he learned to sign perfectly his many drawings, the jewels of his last will and testament. Try on his brilliant yellow sunglasses. See the world as he saw it clearly full of hope. Slide your hand up the sleeve of his favorite red shirt as though you were to tickle him. He would laugh. You may cry. Finally, with utmost care, hold what he made in nursery school a white plaster cast of his hand, fingers spread wide apart as though he were telling you how old he would be when he died.
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"The lines have the dignity that comes from unadorned precision, from putting an exact name to one's worst possible fears." --Virginian-Pilot "This book continues to be a source of comfort to bereaved parents across the nation." --Tidewater News
Shelly Wagner lives in Norfolk, Virginia, with her husband, John. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry East, ONTHEBUS, and TriQuarterly.
Treasure Birth of a Child Mice Passover Gorillas The Boxes Wet Television The Limousine Thomas's Birthday The Pearl Ashley Blackbirds The Grocery Store Shoes The Tie Faded Voices Our Song Rusty Home Communion My Garden Andrew and Thomas White Ducks Dust My Father The Gold Sofa In Our Beds Again Looking for Myself Three Weeks My Husband In the Taxi Foxes The Dance Your Questions Thirteenth Birthday To My Parents Driving A Happy Poem Crazy What If? Underwater My Work The Dinner Party I Thirst