they told me a surgeon sat down in the hospital morgue
next to your body.
He yelled at the aide to get out.
His two sons had been your students.
–me, too, little-knowing–
I’m always, my young fathers,
out in the air, loving you.
Water to water.
Jean Valentine won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book,Dream Barker, in 1965. Her eleventh book of poetry is Break the Glass, just out from Copper Canyon Press. Her previous collection, Little Boat was published by Wesleyan in 2007. Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965–2003 was the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry. The recipient of the 2009 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, Valentine has taught at Sarah Lawrence, New York University, and Columbia.