American Life in Poetry: Column 313. By Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006
Go for a walk and part of whatever you walk through rides back on your socks. Here Peter Everwine, a California poet, tells us about the seeds that stick to us, in all their beauty and variety.
Until nightfall my son ran in the fields,
looking for God knows what.
Flowers, perhaps. Odd birds on the wing.
Something to fill an empty spot.
Maybe a luminous angel
or a country girl with a secret dark.
He came back empty-handed,
or so I thought.
Now I find them:
the barbed weeds
all those with hooks or horns
the snaggle-toothed, the grinning ones
those wearing lantern jaws,
old ones in beards, leapers
in silk leggings, the multiple
pocked moons and spiny satellites, all those
with juices and saps
like the fingers of thieves
nation after nation of grasses
that dig in, that burrow, that hug winds
and grab handholds
in whatever lean place.
It’s been a good day.
By Peter Everwine