The Sunday Poem: John Poch






Because justice must recede
like a page number
and because the dictionary of under
is a tedious read, more simply
consider the ground
as those who pour concrete
think of how it rained or will.

Consequently, consider the sky,
and pray like a murderer has died.
When a person dies,
it’s not a page ripped out
of a book. It’s a chapter
in another language
nearly written.

When toasting your rival,
let the glass fall
with your hand, but hold
the glass.
Give up because.

If we must bury the hatchet,
then you be the priest.




About John Poch

John PochJohn Poch is the author of three collections of poems, Two Men Fighting with a Knife, Poems, and most recently Dolls (Orchises Press 2009). He is also the co-author of Hockey Haiku: The Essential Collection. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Yale Review, and other journals. He teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University.

If you enjoyed “Forgiveness,” please share this poem on Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can read the entire Sunday Poem series here.

Would you like the Sunday Poem delivered to your email box each week? Subscribe to Gwarlingo by email or RSS feed. (It’s easy, safe, and free). You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook or share a “like” on the Gwarlingo Facebook page.

Looking for an interesting book for yourself or your students? Check out the new Gwarlingo Store–a hand-picked selection of some of my favorite poetry and art books. All of your purchases directly support this site.


“Forgiveness” © John Poch. This poem originally appeared in Meridian and was reprinted with permission by the author.


By | 2016-11-11T21:55:30+00:00 09.17.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: John Poch

About the Author:

I'm a writer, photographer, and the creator of Gwarlingo, a crowd-funded arts & culture journal that covers contemporary art, music, books, film, and the creative process. I’ve spent nearly 20 years as an arts enabler, helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I’ve also done time at an arts magazine, a library, and an art museum in Atlanta. For two years I cared for injured eagles, hawks, and owls at a raptor rehabilitation center in Vermont. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, consulting, and creative projects full-time. (You can check out my recent projects here.) I’ve appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, served as the judge for A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando Literary Prize, and received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. My writing and photography have appeared in RISD XYZ magazine, 2Paragraphs, Psychology Today, Born Journal, and other publications. I offer one-on-one coaching sessions, group workshops, and speak to businesses, arts groups, and students about overcoming the psychological and practical barriers to producing your best work. (Read more here .) If you'd like to work with me one-on-one or hire me to speak at your school, business, or organization, please contact me at michelle (at) gwarlingo (dot) com. -