Faculty Achievement: Fernando Valdivia Poem Chosen for Publication

SUNY Ulster campus

Fernando Valdivia Poem Chosen for Publication

SUNY Ulster English, Foreign Languages and Philosophy department faculty member, Fernando Valdivia, has had a poem accepted for publication in the Winter 2015 issue of Pentimento Magazine. Of the 143 poems submitted, Fernando’s was one of eleven chosen for publication.

His poem appears below.

By Fernando Valdivia

When my mother’s nine-month bulge of water burst, she bled,
and though my tiny brother’s spine was smashed,
his kidneys crushed, the doctors put him in a cast
and told my Dad his son might walk but always wet the bed.
As kids in summer we would start off for the beach,
and I would be ashamed to walk beside him as he lurched
like some drunk sailor pitching on the sober earth,
his brace cleats pivoting beside my perfect feet.

But once immersed, I’d watch his burly shoulders churn
through walls of waves, way out past the tide,
while I’d remain embroiled in shallow surf and guilty pride.
My starfish toes gripping rocks like clams, I’d see him turn
and, like some mighty Neptune, ride the cresting foam,
then swim in close enough to flounder on the shore
and hobble home.

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