Adam Tavel

Home » Issue 90 » Adam Tavel

Adam Tavel

Forever Elegy

The night my father squeezed my throat and held
me dangling at the wall our thermostat’s
ancient paint-flecked dial dug in my ear.
Behind him in the living room the sludge
from boots he laced so tight I couldn’t budge
left snowy prints across the shag. I once felt
a magisterial restraint, some glad
and fixed relief when Brueghel’s hunters cleared
the ridge to mark their blizzard village snug
below them in the valley. But now their caps
soaked through with ice, their rib-thin hounds, no stags
across their shoulder blades are all I see.
They’re never down. They pant like wolves. He leaves
them high and breathless still. He lets them freeze.

Adam Tavel reads “Forever Elegy”


Adam Tavel is the author of six books of poetry. His latest collections are Rubble Square and Green Regalia, both with Stephen F. Austin State University Press. His recent poems appear in North American Review, Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Ninth Letter, The Massachusetts Review, Copper Nickel, and Western Humanities Review, among others. You can find him online at