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Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007 08:29 am

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document lakepoem #14  

gosh guys I know it’s been grim
in that relentless blistered heat
here in vermont it’s the opposite
thermal longjohns piling on the covers
burrowing into sleep sacks you
expect the lake to hold steady
but even it has done a nosedive
today the waterbug colonies that
always spin expansively in
separate galaxies wide as washtubs
are all scrunched together thick as
poppyseeds on a bagel

© Jacqueline Jackson 2007

Poet Marianne Boruch of Indiana finds a bird’s nest near her door. It is the simplest of discoveries, yet she uses it to remind us that what at first seems ordinary, even “made a mess of,” can be miraculously transformed upon careful reflection.

Nest
I walked out, and the nest was already there by the step. Woven basket of a saint sent back to life as a bird who proceeded to make a mess of things. Wind right through it, and any eggs long vanished. But in my hand it was intricate pleasure, even the thorny reeds softened in the weave. And the fading leaf mold, hardly itself anymore, merely a trick of light, if light can be tricked. Deep in a life is another life. I walked out, the nest already by the step.
Poem copyright © 1996 by Marianne Boruch, whose most recent book of poetry is Poems: New and Selected (Oberlin College Press, 2004). Reprinted from A Stick That Breaks And Breaks (Oberlin College Press, 1997). First published in the journal Field. 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.

Ted Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. For more information, go to www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
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