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Wednesday, April 23, 2008 07:45 pm

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document insectpoem #3

it’s come and gone national punc tuation day at the start of this ass ignment I decided to dispense with all that bother also to avoid caps except for I nobody wants to read small i insect appreciation day has gone by too that’s ok I’ve always app reciated insects except when I had to pick potato bugs as a kid a couple years ago I noticed strange movement on a brick on my porch here was a gray pod with teensy praying mantises stream ing out tiny delicate green exact repli cas of adult mantises excited I propelled some passersby from the sidewalk look look they looked went on no comment no wonder no awe now what celebra tion comes next that I can bug folk with   

© Jacqueline Jackson 2008

Bad news all too often arrives with a ringing telephone, all too early in the morning. But sometimes it comes with less emphasis, by regular mail. Here Allan Peterson of Florida gets at the feelings of receiving bad news by letter, not by directly stating how he feels but by suddenly noticing the world that surrounds the moment when that news arrives.

The Inevitable
To have that letter arrive was like the mist that took a meadow and revealed hundreds of small webs once invisible The inevitable often stands by plainly but unnoticed till it hands you a letter that says death and you notice the weed field had been readying its many damp handkerchiefs all along

Poem copyright © 2007 by Allan Peterson, whose most recent book of poetry is All the Lavish in Common (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005). Reprinted from The Chattahoochee Review (Winter 2007, Vol. 27, No. 2). 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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