Everything you need to understand or teach For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton by Richard Hugo.
In the first stanza of "For Jennifer, 6, on the Teton," "These open years" refers to the childhood of Jennifer, the six-year-old child of the poem's title and the person the speaker is addressing. The first lines introduce the image of the river, which Hugo develops as a metaphor in the rest of the poem. The Teton River flows 110 miles east out of the Lewis and Clark National Forest across Teton and Choteau counties, joining the Missouri River just outside of Loma, Montana. The river is home to native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, as well as hatchery brook and rainbow trout. Hugo, an avid fisherman, was most likely inspired by an actual as opposed to an imaginedoccurrence with Jennifer, while either fishing or canoeing the river. The speaker compares the girl's childhood to a riverbed, "where we run to learn / laws of bounce and run." Both childhood and riverbeds... View more of the For Jennifer, 6, on The Teton Summary