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Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007 11:42 pm

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document daughterpoem #3
 
elspeth seven displaying scratches
made by her cat mudge remarks
ruefully even the mother that loves it
goes through many hardships

© Jacqueline Jackson 2007

North Carolina poet, Betty Adcock, has written scores of beautiful poems, almost all of them too long for this space. Here is an example of her shorter work, the telling description of a run-down border town.

Louisiana Line
The wooden scent of wagons, the sweat of animals — these places keep everything — breath of the cotton gin, black damp floors of the icehouse.
Shadows the color of a mirror’s back break across faces. The luck is always bad. This light is brittle, old pale hair kept in a letter. The wheeze of porch swings and lopped gates seeps from new mortar.
Wind from an axe that struck wood a hundred years ago lifts the thin flags of the town.
Reprinted from Walking Out (Louisiana State University Press, 1975) with permission of Betty Adcock, whose most recent book is Intervale: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2001). 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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