Enjoy Robert’s gorgeous poem of that first snow in October, the harbinger of what’s to come…. Taken from Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry.
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American Life in Poetry: Column 498
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
Here’s a lovely poem for this lovely month, by Robert Haight, who lives in Michigan.
Early October Snow
It will not stay.
But this morning we wake to pale muslin
stretched across the grass.
The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets
shrouded by clouds.
The Weber wears a dunce cap
and sits in the corner by the garage
where asters wrap scarves
around their necks to warm their blooms.
The leaves, still soldered to their branches
by a frozen drop of dew, splash
apple and pear paint along the roadsides.
It seems we have glanced out a window
into the near future, mid-December, say,
the black and white photo of winter
carefully laid over the present autumn,
like a morning we pause at the mirror
inspecting the single strand of hair
that overnight has turned to snow.
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around me in a stillness, a lonlieness composed of slow shadows and lights this old house takes its rest with a creak echoing down the hall to my musty bedroom shared by only one, the creaks reminding me of how my knees used to climb stairs and how these bedsprings used to jump when he was alive and how the kids used to clatter and creak through the kitchen how the years turn like a watch rusting
click click creak
how memories torture me daily but at night they meekly creak a complaint before I tie them up and flush them with the efficiency of a proud soldier.
Thank you toAmerican Life in Poetryfor allowing me to republish today’s column. I just loved the quiet, poignant simplicity of this poem. Really resonated with me….
American Life in Poetry: Column 350 BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006 The persons we are when we are young are probably buried somewhere within us when we’ve grown old. Denise Low, who was the Kansas poet laureate, takes a look at a younger version of herself in this telling poem.
Two Gates I look through glass and see a young woman of twenty, washing dishes, and the window turns into a painting. She is myself thirty years ago. She holds the same blue bowls and brass teapot I still own. I see her outline against lamplight; she knows only her side of the pane. The porch where I stand is empty. Sunlight fades. I hear water run in the sink as she lowers her head, blind to the future. She does not imagine I exist. I step forward for a better look and she dissolves into lumber and paint. A gate I passed through to the next life loses shape. Once more I stand squared into the present, among maple trees and scissor-tailed birds, in a garden, almost a mother to that faint, distant woman.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.