Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20: New Poet of the Week, Ted Kooser, "Late February"

Sometimes, when I'm looking for a new Poet of the Week, I happen upon a poet whom I've forgotten.  It's like coming across an old grade school picture and being reminded of a person who was your best friend in second grade.

I love Ted Kooser's poems.  Always have.  However, I haven't read Ted Kooser in a really long time.  Reading him now, I know why I first fell in love with his work so long ago.

So, Saint Marty is going to be spending the week with his old friend, Ted.

Late February

by:  Ted Kooser

The first warm day,
and by mid-afternoon
the snow is no more
than a washing
strewn over the yards,
the bedding rolled in knots
and leaking water,
the white shirts lying
under the evergreens.
Through the heaviest drifts
rise autumn's fallen
bicycles, small carnivals
of paint and chrome,
the Octopus
and Tilt-A-Whirl
beginning to turn
in the sun. Now children,
stiffened by winter
and dressed, somehow,
like old men, mutter
and bend to the work
of building dams.
But such a spring is brief;
by five o'clock
the chill of sundown,
darkness, the blue TVs
flashing like storms
in the picture windows,
the yards gone gray,
the wet dogs barking
at nothing. Far off
across the cornfields
staked for streets and sewers,
the body of a farmer
missing since fall
will show up
in his garden tomorrow,
as unexpected
as a tulip.

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