Friday, April 08, 2005

American Life in Poetry #1: David Allan Evans.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

We all know that the manner in which people behave toward one another can tell us a lot about their private lives. In this amusing poem by David Allan Evans, Poet Laureate of South Dakota, we learn something about a marriage by being shown a couple as they take on an ordinary household task.



Neighbors


They live alone
together,

she with her wide hind
and bird face,
he with his hung belly
and crewcut.

They never talk
but keep busy.

Today they are
washing windows
(each window together)
she on the inside,
he on the outside.
He squirts Windex
at her face,
she squirts Windex
at his face.

Now they are waving
to each other
with rags,
not smiling.



Reprinted from "Train Windows," Ohio University Press, 1976, by permission of the author, whose most recent book is "The Bull Rider's Advice: New and Selected Poems." This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.



Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:

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