portion of the artwork for Sean Farragher's poem

Wild Child
Sean Farragher
(circa: early 1970s)

Wild Child: Autumn
for Edward

Child with suns on your limbs
Autumn whispers all at once,
in my afterthoughts
the wood gatherers
near the hill cottage
with sand box and swings dangle feet

Dazzled we touch
with painted brows, railroad clanks
and bison guns. A China man calls us
with the clatter of kettle drums,
It’s time, it’s time to eat and rest

With a whooping weep, big tops, lions,
Tigers, thousand spar sailing ships,
whips …
Within the leaf crock my wild child
hypnotized our saints creaking on his shelf,
and the wild, ancestral grace, the wood fire taste,
the boy folds his grin to his Daddy’s lap

Shiver blue eyes,
break at the violet sun—
All the children gathered home

In the forest we gather acorns
before a winter fire—
a grouse curls with a fox,
licking its paws,
a wolf guards a foal,
the red sky smoothes my child’s freckles

My wild child
It will be hard to leave you—
Ride the pony at the General Store.
See the snow falls,
our wet faces streaked with licorice
and our smiles.

My lips soften to my son’s hair
for a time,
I warm his hands in my pocket
the sun explains

“Ten almond suns ablaze, ablaze
with twilight, twilight
green, swart, white
with the windows drawn, light leaks
in the afterglow
we are framed, naked with a knife
and a spade,
my son don’t be afraid”

“I am no afraid.”
Outside, over there, with a deer
curled under quilts; dew and earth blankets
wound with the forest; we rest with friends;
pick colors from the barn;
the chilled river wakes us, no afraid—

Edward no afraid—
The swart night cools the fodder
the wood smoke smells so good, so good
the wood smoke dusts our yellow, flowers
With my wild child I trail two sparrows, sparrows—

No afraid, Edward, sleep, sleep
with the rust fire on your cheeks,
I raise my head to the east, I praise
the sun, repeat, repeat.

Wild Child: Spring
for Edward

Spring is the rebellion of the crocus
wrestling with the ground.
The forsythia and the child sweat
and the earth bangs a drum.

Then the rain comes,
And we watch the white below the green,
then the brown crust,
the black below the sea.

Then, the collapse of cherry trees.
The crane falls,
and the child awakens outside the garden:
There he hears wings beating on his house

the vines snap
the sun groans,
and my wild child holds his palm

up to the light,
closes his eyes, stretches,
and is known by the light:

The rain spreads to his thighs,
and the window to the garden is closed;
grass grows over its panes.
the air is slippery green,
the sun is stone

Table of Contents

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 40 | Spring 2013