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praise for mnookin's work

"WHAT HE TOOK is an elegy to the father Wendy Mnookin lost to an automobile accident when she was a child. It is also a book of passage, of her journey from that day, stranded in a field, to an adulthood informed by that day. In the course of the book, Mnookin attempts something highly difficult--she assumes the persona of a two-year-old. And she succeeds. This collection, this whole, is rich in unpretentious, lyrical poems."

--Lola Haskins, author of Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems

From The Book


No matter what happens next
I want to remember
steam from an opened thermos of tea,
the smell of bananas,
a fold in the map through the center of Ohio.

You were two, you don't remember--

My father's glasses are falling forward on his
He hums, off key, to the radio.
My mother's cheek is creased from sleep.

And the clothes, pressed
into the secrecy of suitcases.
I want to remember the clothes.