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"Coe writes about his parents with warmth, insight, and grace . . . with celebration as well as regret. A collection that captures the tenderness and intimacy within the black family. His words construct a path from the innocence of childhood into the winter of aging. His book will outlive much of the poetry being written today."--E. Ethelbert Miller
No relationship is more personal, yet universal, than that of parent and child. These richly detailed poems connect readers with their own experiences in that most fundamental of relationships, and are poignant reminders that the lives of those closest to us sometimes offer the deepest mysteries.
"pampered little girl
no crystal ball to warn you
of dirty laundry mountains."
From "How My Father Learned to Cook":
"Because of the tomatoes in a neighbor's garden,
my father learned to cook. Because of late summer
home-grown Indiana tomatoes, drooping on the vine
my father learned to cook. Imagine him at twelve leaning
over the fence of the neighbor's garden curious but shy,
and the neighbor pointing to the open gate.
Imagine father digging in the soil, caught in the rhythm
of the gardener's dance
and later handing his surprised mother
the overstuffed paper bag."
"A pretty story, but it never happened; here's what did: "
Charles Coe's poetry and prose have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, and his poems have been set to music by composers Julia Carey, Beth Denisch, and Robert Moran. Coe also writes feature articles, book reviews, and interviews for "Harvard Magazine," "Northeastern University Law Review," and the Boston "Phoenix." He is also a jazz vocalist, performing and recording throughout New England.