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Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008 12:02 am

People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

American life in poetry
Edited by Ted Kooser
A part of being a parent, it seems, is spending too much time fearing the worst. Here Berwyn Moore, a Pennsylvania poet, expresses that fear — irrational, but exquisitely painful all the same.
Driving to Camp Lend-A-Hand
for Emma Grace
The day we picked our daughter up from camp,
goldenrod lined the road, towheaded scouts
bowing on both sides, the parting of macadam
as we drove, the fields dry, the sky lacy with clouds.
A farmer waved. A horse shrugged its haughty head.
We stopped for corn, just picked, and plums and kale,
sampled pies, still warm, and tarts and honeyed bread.
Sheets on a line ballooned out like a ship's sail.
Time stopped in those miles before we saw her.
For eight days we hadn't tucked her in or brushed
her hair or watched her grow, the week a busy blur
of grown-up bliss. It came anyway, that uprush
of fear — because somewhere a child was dead:
at a market, a subway, a school, in a lunatic's bed.
Poem copyright © 2006 by Berwyn Moore, whose most recent book of poetry is Dissolution of Ghosts (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005). Poem reprinted from Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose (Vol. 49, 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 2004-2006. For more information, go to ww.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
milky business poem #1

I grew up drinking raw milk it
was our dairy's premium brand
grade A guernsey raw all the
doctors recommended it but when
pasteurization became mandatory
we had to drop it now nutritionists
say raw milk is healthier farmers are
again providing it though against the
law amish agriculturalists hauled
off to jail factory farms and monster
dairies train elephant guns on bovine
bessie lawmakers too — pending in n.y.:
"every person engaged in the pro-
duction of raw untreated milk for
human consumption shall hold a
permit issued by the commission"
daughter #3 who keeps food thugs
under surveillance writes me what
she and her blog buds are debating
"what about nursing mothers are
they going to need permits as well
I mean a woman is a person and if
she is nursing she is engaged in
the production of raw milk for
human consumption are we wrong?"

© Jacqueline Jackson 2008
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