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Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 11:43 pm

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document octoberend poem # 1                           

shredding day today said my neighbor so I spend the morning gleaning his garden got a peck of green peppers even more tomatoes just when you think you have them all you spy another cluster of emerald globes hiding in the foliage well maybe that’s it nothing left but on a stem munching away a green tomato worm with diagonal white stripes slashed along its back and a little brown barb on its heinie no protection when the inevitable frost comes tonight
© Jacqueline Jackson 2007

Here’s a fine seasonal poem by Todd Davis, who lives and teaches in Pennsylvania. It’s about the drowsiness that arrives with the early days of autumn. Can a bear imagine the future? Surely not as a human would, but perhaps it can sense that the world seems to be slowing toward slumber. Who knows?

On the ridge above Skelp Road bears binge on blackberries and apples, even grapes, knocking down the Petersens’ arbor to satisfy the sweet hunger that consumes them. Just like us they know the day must come when the heart slows, when to take one more step would mean the end of things as they should be. Sleep is a drug; dreams its succor. How better to drift toward another world but with leaves falling, their warmth draping us, our stomachs full and fat with summer?

Poem copyright © 2007 by Todd Davis. Reprinted from Some Heaven, by Todd Davis (Michigan State University Press, 2007), by permission of the author and publisher. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, 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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