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On Sundays, We Read Poetry

Each Sunday, I post a brief introduction to a collection of poetry I've been loving. I include one poem that I think really sings. No review. No need. If it's here, you'll know I recommend it. If you have one to recommend (yours or someone else's), send it along. I'll do my best to be here every Sunday.


I've been out-of-the-loop, out-of-sorts, out-of-my-mind, out-of-words for weeks on weeks now, missing the April visit of Ted Kooser's The Wheeling Year entirely. As I creep my way back into practice, here is a taste of April and the piece of May that spoke most directly to me, and I'll be back next week with a new collection.

April --

After a long illness, rain idly brushes the roof with the back of its hand. Only the fingernails tough, and they touch ever so lightly. I remember a woman who late one evening talked to me about dying, about how easy it might be, and as she talked she very slowly turned her palm up and let it relax as if to catching something falling out of the darkness.

May --

Oh, melancholy, how poor I would be without you drawing my attention to this or that. Yesterday, it was the wild plum blossoms along the brief road to today, and today it's this rain that will rain only once. Each grain of sand on each shingle lights for an instant, like a window across a black lake, and then the tiny shade is drawn, as time strikes the wet panes and glances away. Tomorrow, too, you will be waiting with something to show me. That time, for example, when you dipped a spoon into the plain water of an ordinary day, then lifted it, salty with tears, to my lips.


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