Arts & Culture » Culture

American Life in Poetry

comment

The first poem we ran in this column was by David Allan Evans of South Dakota, about a couple washing windows together. You can find that poem and all the at americanlifeinpoetry.org. Here Tania Rochelle of Georgia presents us with another couple, this time raking leaves. I especially like the image of the pair "bent like parentheses/ around their brittle little lawn."

Raking

Anna Bell and Lane, eighty,

make small leaf piles in the heat,

each pile a great joint effort,

like fifty years of marriage,

sharing chores a rusty dance.

In my own yard, the stacks

are big as children, who scatter them,

dodge and limbo the poke

of my rake. We’re lucky,

young and straight-boned.

And I feel sorry for the couple,

bent like parentheses

around their brittle little lawn.

I like feeling sorry for them,

the tenderness of it, but only

for a moment: John glides in

like a paper airplane, takes

the children for the weekend,

and I remember,

they’re the lucky ones—

shriveled Anna Bell, loving

her crooked Lane.

 

Reprinted from Karaoke Funeral, Snake Nation Press, 2003, by permission of the author. Copyright 2003 by Tania Rochelle. This weekly column is supported by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.