Sunday, March 29, 2015

The dream, like a minnow

Surely it must be time for wood ducks again, like these
from the late autumn just past.
They gathered under the willow 
and often arranged themselves like this,
facing in opposite directions.


How heavy it is, this bucket
drawn out of the lake of sleep
with a dream spilling over,
so heavy that on some mornings
you can’t quite pull it free
so let it slip back under,
back into the darkness where
the water is warm, even warmer,
but the dream, like a minnow,
has swum away and is merely
a flash in the murky distance,
and the weight of waking up
seems even heavier. But somehow
you lift it again, its handle
biting into your fingers,
and haul it out and set it down
still rippling, a weighty thing
like life itself, in which you dip
the leaky cup of your hands
and drink.

Ted Kooser
Splitting an Order, Copper Canyon Press, 2014, page 72

I went through this wonderful short book again tonight and wound up reading several poems aloud. This is the kind of elegant, unthreatening small book that would make an ideal gift for many sorts of people, perhaps most especially those like me who remember the zinc lids on canning jars! Or those like my daughter who taught herself to plow with a horse! I have marked a bunch more Kooser to offer on this blog from time to time!

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