Voices

April 15, 2007

By describing the relocation of the moles which ravaged her yard, Washington poet Judith Kitchen presents an experience that resonates beyond the simple details, and suggests that children can learn important lessons through observation of the natural world. - Ted Kooser

"Catching the Moles"

First we tamp down the ridges

that criss-cross the yard

then wait for the ground

to move again.

I hold the shoe box,

you, the trowel.

When I give you the signal

you dig in behind

and flip forward.

Out he pops into daylight,

blind velvet.

We nudge him into the box,

carry him down the hill.

Four times we've done it.

The children worry.

Have we let them all go

at the very same spot?

Will they find each other?

We can't be sure ourselves,

only just beginning to learn

the fragile rules of uprooting.

By describing the relocation of the moles which ravaged her yard, Washington poet Judith Kitchen presents an experience that resonates beyond the simple details, and suggests that children can learn important lessons through observation of the natural world. - Ted Kooser

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