Jacques Rancourt

Hello My Name is Also Jacques Rancourt

So you already know we’ve placed ourselves in the nape

of the rake. Copper harp. Sickle-

                                                   tongued. You know

each year we’ve braided strands of wheat into rope


to tie about our necks. My father, a Jacques Rancourt too,

split back the wormed casing

                                              of a rotted tree to remind me

we open into fields. Dry haven. Corned breath. My father


doesn’t speak the language he grew up speaking.

We who are nearly the same

                                             clear one space out of

the next. My father’s father, a Jacques Rancourt too,


broke open an American forest into fallow. Felling saw. 

Bucking saw. Two-man saw. I am the Jacques

                                                                     of a Jacques

of a Jacques who sent home dead goldfinches in the mail.


Lumber and tar sap. Tilt into the axis of our galaxies.

My father Jacques and myself Jacques

                                                           cannot pronounce

our own names properly. In the photograph we look


nearly the same. Heft and hewn. In the photograph

a Jacques Rancourt, the father

                                                of my father, stands on the hulk

of a felled white pine, his two-man saw cast off,


and who among us takes up the other end?



“Hello My Name is Also Jacques Rancourt” is from Novena (Pleiades Press, 2017).