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Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007 11:16 am

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document lovepoem #9
have I a special spot for my last-born of course she nursed longest was with me longest gave boundless joy to me to her sisters still does but do I love her more than my first-born that tiny miracle who was not on this earth then was who even now sometimes seems ethereal when not being stubborn or the middle sisters who had to fight their way into recognition to hold their places claim their share of attention from the busyness above and below I a middle child myself cherish my middlers their fierce inde- pendence the warmth of their generosity their humor quirks subtleties I’ve heard mothers say they love all their children the same me I love mine different each one individual no ranking no hierarchies
© Jacqueline Jackson 2007

There’s that old business about the tree falling in the middle of the forest with no one to hear it: does it make a noise? Here Linda Gregg, of New York, offers us a look at an elegant beauty that can be presumed to exist and persist without an observer.

All that is uncared for. Left alone in the stillness in that pure silence married to the stillness of nature. A door off its hinges, shade and shadows in an empty room. Leaks for light. Raw where the tin roof rusted through. The rustle of weeds in their different kinds of air in the mornings, year after year. A pecan tree, and the house made out of mud bricks. Accurate and unexpected beauty, rattling and singing. If not to the sun, then to nothing and to no one.

Poem copyright © 2006 by Linda Gregg. Reprinted from In the Middle Distance (Graywolf Press, 2006). 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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