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Wednesday, April 2, 2008 06:18 am

People's poetry

Presented by Jacqueline Jackson

Untitled Document kinquote poem #10

my first cousin age ninety
on an impulse phoned
his grammar school chum
bob dagley they both attended
j b murphy public school
in chicago from the directory
he knew bob lived in houston
he said bob this is paul
bob said now what do you want

© Jacqueline Jackson 2008

This week we recognize newspaper employees by including a poem from the inside of a newsroom. David Tucker is deputy managing editor of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and has been a reporter and editor at the Toronto Star and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was on the Star-Ledger team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Tucker was awarded a Witter-Bynner fellowship for poetry in 2007 by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Donald Hall.
Today’s News
A slow news day, but I did like the obit about the butcher who kept the same store for fifty years. People remembered when his street was sweetly roaring, aproned with flower stalls and fish stands. The stock market wandered, spooked by presidential winks, by micro-winds and the shadows of earnings. News was stationed around the horizon, ready as summer clouds to thunder —
but it moved off and we covered the committee meeting at the back of the statehouse, sat around on our desks, then went home early. The birds were still singing, the sun just going down. Working these long hours, you forget how beautiful the early evening can be, the big houses like ships turning into the night, their rooms piled high with silence.
Poem copyright © 2006 by David Tucker. Reprinted from Late for Work, by David Tucker (Mariner Books, 2006). First printed in Montana Journalism Review. 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 2004-2006. For more information, go to www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
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