Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Where I Live

is vertical:
garden, pond, uphill

pasture, run-in shed.
Through pines, Pumpkin Ridge. 

Two switchbacks down
church spire, spit of town.

Where I climb I inspect
the peas, cadets erect

in lime-capped rows,
hear hammer blows

as pileateds peck
the rot of shagbark hickories

enlarging last 
year's pterodactyl nests.

Granite erratics 
humped like bears

dot the outermost pasture
where in tall grass 

clots of ovoid scat 
butternut-size, milky brown

announce our halfgrown
moose padded past

into the forest
to nibble beech tree sprouts.
		
Wake-robin trillium
in dapple-shade. Violets,

landlocked seas I swim in.
I used to pick bouquets

for her, framed them		
with leaves. Schmutzige

she said, holding me close
to scrub my streaky face. 

Almost from here I touch 
my mother's death.

Credit


From Where I Live by Maxine Kumin. Copyright © 2010 by Maxine Kumin. Used by permission of W. W. Norton.

Author


Maxine Kumin

The author of numerous collections of poetry, Maxine Kumin received the Pulitzer Prize for her book Up Country: Poems of New England, which received the Pulitzer Prize.

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/where-i-live