Voices

Voices

May 20, 2007|By Ted Kooser | Ted Kooser,Special to the Sun

As poet Felecia Caton Garcia of New Mexico shows us in this moving poem, there are times when parents feel helpless and hopeless. But the human heart is remarkable and, like a dry creek bed, somehow fills again, is renewed and restored.

- Ted Kooser

"Drought"

Try to remember: things go wrong in spite of it all.

I listen to our daughters singing in the crackling rows

of corn and wonder why I don't love them more.

They move like dark birds, small mouths open

to the sky and hungry. All afternoon I listen

to the highway and watch clouds push down over the hills.

I remember your legs, heavy with sleep, lying across mine.

I remember when the world was transparent, trembling, all

shattering light. I had to grit my teeth against its brilliance.

It was nothing like this stillness that makes it difficult

to lift my eyes. When I finally do, I see you

carrying the girls over the sharp stones of the creek bed.

When they pull at my clothes and lean against my arms,

I don't know what to do and do nothing.

Ted Kooser was U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06. Copyright 2006 by Felecia Caton Garcia. Reprinted from "Northwest Review," Vol. 44, No. 3, 2006, by permission of the author. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

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