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American Life in Poetry: Blessing

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opinion Morris,Minnesota 56267
Morris Sun Tribune
American Life in Poetry: Blessing
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

By Ted Kooser

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is one of our country's finest poets. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey. I thought that today you might like to have us offer you a poem full of blessings.


The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog

To be blessed

said the old woman

is to live and work

so hard

God's love

washes right through you

like milk through a cow

To be blessed

said the dark red tulip

is to knock their eyes out

with the slug of lust

implied by

your up-ended skirt

To be blessed

said the dog

is to have a pinch

of God

inside you

and all the other

dogs can smell it

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. "The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog" from The Book of Seventy, by Alicia Suskin Ostriker, © 2009. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.