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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 02:39 pm

People's poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document nfifthstpoem #2

somebody’s abducting dogs in
chatham well listen dogsnatcher
I have a candidate for you here
in springfield one in rochester too and a couple of cats while you’re at it would you find who surreptiously painted the art association pink we could get rid of him or is it a her at the same time this neighborhood has enough to put up with

© Jacqueline Jackson 2007

One big test of the endurance of any relationship is taking on a joint improvement project. Here Sue Ellen Thompson offers an account of one such trial by fire.
My parents argued over wallpaper. Would stripes make the room look larger? He would measure, cut, and paste; she’d swipe the flaws out with her brush. Once it was properly
hung, doubt would set in. Would the floral have been a better choice? Then it would grow until she was certain: it had to go. Divorce terrified me as a child. I didn’t know
what led to it, but I had my suspicions. The stripes came down. Up went the flowers. Eventually it became my definition of marriage: bad choices, arguments
whose victors time refused to tell, but everything done together and done well.

Reprinted by permission of the author. Copyright ©  2006 by Sue Ellen Thompson, from her book, The Golden Hour, published by Autumn House Press. 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.
Ted Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. For more information, go to www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
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