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American Life in Poetry: The Fields

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American Life in Poetry: The Fields
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

By Ted Kooser

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.

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Back from the Fields

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:

thistles, goatheads,

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.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2004 by Peter Everwine, whose most recent book of poetry is From the Meadow: Selected and New Poems, Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2004. Poem reprinted from The Place That Inhabits Us, Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010, by permission of Peter Everwine and the publisher. 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.

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