Dear Robber

Robert Frost is hard for me to get
excited about. Sacrilege you say?
But I need him now. In order to write—
don't know what— not sure how. He loved him.
My father-in-law. Robert Frost. The world
he wrote about. Educated on site.
With a drill bit. And know how. I need him
now. My father-in-law. To tell me how
to tell my husband I need him now.
To hold the world we've lost about. The loss
we love about. I write it down. Nothing.
Nothing Robert Frost about it. Nothing
even. Odd love. Nothing Platonic.
Something catatonic. Maple saplings
aren't even. Three leaves tall. Leavings. Three
leaves tall all about the base of the tree.
Not even saplings yet. Not even
saplings, yet leafing out. I pull one out
of the lichen. I loved him. My father—
in-law. I loved him fatly. I loved
his portly wobble through the forest.
Gone now. Why I kite about it. A string.
A white line between hand and flying thing.
A white line spooling out of a hand
at the raised end of a body beached.
A raised body. Reclining. A friend
I know barely. A friend I know barely
dressed on this beach has lost her father.
I take a lover. Rob Frost. Sacrilege
you say? He took his own life. My husband's
father. My husband's wife is afraid of—
what? The drill bit? A robber? The frost?
What we winter over all summer.
The hammer and ten penny nails. What is
written. What it costs.

Jennifer Sperry Steinorth is a poet, educator, collaborative artist, and licensed builder. Her poetry has appeared recently in Alaska Quarterly, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Colorado Review, The Journal, jubilat, Michigan Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Quarterly West and elsewhere. A chapbook, Forking The Swift, was published in 2010. She has received grants from the Sewanee Writers Conference, The Vermont Studio Center, Warren Wilson College where she received her MFA in poetry, and The Bear River Writers Conference. In 2016 she was the Writers@Work Poetry Fellow selected by Tarfia Faizzulah and won the Connecticut River Review Poetry Prize. She lives in Traverse City, Michigan and teaches at The Leelanau School and at Interlochen Center for the Arts. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761