Advertisement

American Life in Poetry: Leaving

Email

By Ted Kooser

When we're young, it seems there are endless possibilities for lives we might lead, and then as we grow older and the opportunities get fewer we begin to realize that the life we've been given is the only one we're likely to get. Here's Jean Nordhaus, of the Washington, D.C. area, exploring this process.

Advertisement

I Was Always Leaving

I was always leaving, I was

about to get up and go, I was

on my way, not sure where.

Somewhere else. Not here.

Nothing here was good enough.

It would be better there, where I

was going. Not sure how or why.

The dome I cowered under

would be raised, and I would be released

into my true life. I would meet there

the ones I was destined to meet.

They would make an opening for me

among the flutes and boulders,

and I would be taken up. That this

might be a form of death

did not occur to me. I only know

that something held me back,

a doubt, a debt, a face I could not

leave behind. When the door

fell open, I did not go through.

Ted Kooser served as United States Poet Laureate, 2004-2006.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness