Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: One of the Dummies at Night

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Everybody knows that a dummy depends on a ventriloquist to bring it to life. But like all poets, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc of Portland is not entirely convinced by what everybody knows.

One of the Dummies at Night by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

He slept in the tinder box
his master made, and oak
grain governed the dreaming—
his left eye clouded over,
he closed the other and saw
mild applause in his future.
His bed sat at a crevice
edge, pure pitch below,
and a cold wind slowed
the senses, rising from who
knows where. Later his mind
became its pin, eschewed
dowels and string and leapt
into the dark. The fall
was pleasurable, apt:
there were no voices
in the breeze, no speeches
to open his mouth.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Reprinted from Death of a Ventriloquist, University of North Texas Press, 2012, by permission of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.