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Thursday, May 11, 2006 02:54 pm

American life in poetry

Edited by Ted Kooser

A worm in an apple, a maggot in a bone, a person in the world. What might seem an odd assortment of creatures is beautifully interrelated by the Massachusetts poet Pat Schneider. Her poem suggests that each living thing is richly awake to its own particular, limited world.
There Is Another Way
There is another way to enter an apple: a worm’s way. The small, round door closes behind her. The world and all its necessities ripen around her like a room.
In the sweet marrow of a bone, the maggot does not remember the wingspread of the mother, the green shine of her body, nor even the last breath of the dying deer.
I, too, have forgotten how I came here, breathing this sweet wind, drinking rain, encased by the limits of what I can imagine and by a husk of stars.
Reprinted from Another River: New and Selected Poems, Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 2005, by permission of the author. First printed in Kalliope, Vol. XII, No. 1, 1989. Copyright © 2004 by Pat Schneider. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.
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