Tag Archives: Andrew J. Khaled Madigan

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: “In first grade” by Andrew J. Khaled Madigan

26 Jul

Over at Hobart Andrew J. Khaled Madigan has five poems, all of which are scrappy and deadpan and thoughtful, but this particular one is a total slam dunk. (I couldn’t help but read it aloud on the porch, accompanied by the comic-ugly whining of goats.)  It recounts said first grade kids making a booklet about their dads to show to the class, and how the narrator decides to portray his father. A chunk:

There was a flag
on either side of him
and one of those executive

pens sets front and center.
On the next page
I drew a picture

of my dad holding
a rifle and another guy
with bullet holes

all over his body. Since
he was Vietnamese
I made him wear one

of those triangular hats
with the chin strap.

The ending stanza is flawless.  Head on over to Hobart to check it out.