Published on Academy of American Poets (

The Way We Love Something Small

The translucent claws of newborn mice

this pearl cast of color,

the barely perceptible

like a ghosted threshold of being:

here     not here.

The single breath we hold

on the thinnest verge of sight:

not there   there.

A curve nearly naked 

an arc of almost, 

a wisp of becoming

a wand—

tiny enough to change me.


Copyright © 2020 by Kimberly Blaeser. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 8, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem comes from a series of similar pieces—all called ‘The Way We Love Something Small,’ pieces grounded in an understanding of poetry as an act of attention. Each poem focuses on those heightened moments common to our experience in which a place, sound, personal exchange, natural creatures, even an object suddenly resonates or becomes transformative. While rescuing a newborn mouse, I saw for the first time the pup’s delicate, nearly invisible claws, and writing of that moment illuminated it. Because the poems arise from ‘small’ epiphanies, I use an airy, slight form. I see the pieces in this series as aspiring to an impact similar to haiku: simultaneously grounded in image and allusive, they invite a re-seeing of what is before us.”

Kimberly Blaeser


Kimberly Blaeser

Kimberly Blaeser is the author of five collections of poetry. The former Wisconsin poet laureate, Blaeser is an MFA faculty member for Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and a professor of English and Indigenous studies at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Date Published: 2020-04-08

Source URL: