To honor National Poetry Month, we’ve asked 4 Minnesota-based Creative Writing Instructor-Poets to share a favorite poem by one of their students.
This week, KateLynn Hibbard, professor of writing and women’s history at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, shares a poem by her former student, Finn McGarrity.
I am so honored to share this work from Finn McGarrity, my former student at Minneapolis College who is about to transfer to Metro State. Finn’s work always made me catch my breath — the emotional honesty, the unusual metaphors, the dedication to craft. This poem is a fine example.KateLynn Hibbard
Note — to view this poem with its intended line breaks, turn your device to landscape view, or look at the photo-file below.
your liver became a raisin and you broke my heart.
lectures about sunscreen on cloudy days replay in my head, pinch my fractured chest
because now your olive skin is ash.
you said you felt so sensitive like a balloon,
if one more person pricked you, you would
i did my best not to prick you, padded the abrasives.
i swallowed your secrets while you sipped vodka out of worn evian bottles.
sometimes I hold our two failed organs, your raisin & my heart.
sometimes I reexamine the autopsy and try to measure my fault.
Finn McGarrity (they/them/theirs) is a poet, community organizer, and fair-weather cyclist currently residing in South Minneapolis. “sunmade” was an effort to write honestly about the grief of losing a loved one to addiction. As a protective measure during grief, we can often evangelize ourselves and those we have lost; I wanted to let go of that to better love and accept this person and myself as flawed as we were. The poem is a token of empathy for those left behind and for those who are still battling addiction.