Why He Doesn't Sleep: The Selected Poems of Stephen Gardner collects the best poetry of an underappreciated writer, an extremely popular professor whose teaching inspired many students to become serious poets themselves. Gardner was known to invest himself in helping others more than in his own work, and so this overdue collection offers exposure to an interesting, variegated, and genuinely passionate writer.
Down the road, lying with my face
Pressed into my father's lap, the wheel
He held claiming most of the space.
But I squeezed in, bending up
My knees, with the rest of my form
On the seat and in my mother's
Lap, not comfortable, but warm.
And they would sing together
Old songs. And I still can feel
Their soft strong hands on me again
And the cold hard turning of the wheel.