This evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness. I could easily have switched on a lamp, but I wanted to ride this day down into night, to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page with the pale gray ghost of my hand.
From Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser. Copyright © 2004 by Ted Kooser. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org. All rights reserved.
Slap of the screen door, flat knock of my grandmother's boxy black shoes on the wooden stoop, the hush and sweep of her knob-kneed, cotton-aproned stride out to the edge and then, toed in with a furious twist and heave, a bridge that leaps from her hot red hands and hangs there shining for fifty years over the mystified chickens, over the swaying nettles, the ragweed, the clay slope down to the creek, over the redwing blackbirds in the tops of the willows, a glorious rainbow with an empty dishpan swinging at one end.
From Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser. Copyright 2004 Ted Kooser. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.
Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations. Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies like a snowflake falling on water. Below us, some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death, snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn back into the little system of his care. All night, the cities, like shimmering novas, tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.
From Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985 by Ted Kooser, © 1980. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.