A poem from We Call Them Beautiful (Diode Editions, 2019) by American poet KC Trommer.
Up

So often I think of everything I cannot tell you, 
everything that will not translate across time.

If there is a camera, let it catch us, so you may see something of 
this story that you are in when you are outside of it.

Let whatever it catches show you how you were loved, a 
still of you, pulled up onto my lap, laughing.

In raising you, I track back. Over my shoulder, I see the 
whole country behind me as I beat out a new path.

My mother tells me about after they’d all been taken away, 
how her mother came to the schoolyard fence,

and Aunt Jan stopped short, said,
Better not. There’ll be trouble.

My grandmother, looking at the backs of her girls receding, 
her heart walking out of her chest.

And now, all the time, mine’s broken 
and mended, broken and mended,

I do not understand. But know this:
everything that I want for you is for you alone.

Bring me back with a kiss, my sweet boy. 
There is this love. No other.

What stunned me was to learn that to love you I 
had to ask for better, then to make it,

then better what I had bettered. 
This doesn’t stop.

I pull you up because you ask me Up,
and up up up I will pull you.



KC Trommer
From: We Call Them Beautiful (Diode Editions, 2019)