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
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).