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American Life in Poetry: Yard Work

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By Ted Kooser

Whether we like it or not, we live with the awareness that death is always close at hand, and in this poem by Don Thompson, a Californian, a dead blackbird can't be pushed out of the awareness of the speaker, nor can it escape the ants, who have their own yard work to do.

Yard Work

My leaf blower lifted the blackbird--

wings still spread, weightless,

floating on the loud, electric wind

almost as if it were alive.

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