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American Life in Poetry: 14

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By Ted Kooser

Don Welch lives in Nebraska and is one of those many talented American poets who have never received as much attention as they deserve. His poems are distinguished by the meticulous care he puts into writing them, and by their deep intelligence. Here is Welch's picture of a 14-year-old, captured at that awkward and painfully vulnerable step on the way to adulthood.

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At 14

To be shy,

to lower your eyes

after making a greeting.

to know

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