November 11, 2007|By TED KOOSER


Here's a fine seasonal poem by Todd Davis, who lives and teaches in Pennsylvania. It's about the drowsiness that arrives with the early days of autumn. Can a bear imagine the future? Surely not as a human would, but perhaps it can sense that the world seems to be slowing toward slumber. Who knows?

- Ted Kooser


On the ridge above Skelp Road

bears binge on blackberries and apples,

even grapes, knocking down

the Petersens' arbor to satisfy the sweet

hunger that consumes them. Just like us

they know the day must come when

the heart slows, when to take one

more step would mean the end of things

as they should be. Sleep is a drug;

dreams its succor. How better to drift

toward another world but with leaves

falling, their warmth draping us,

our stomachs full and fat with summer?

Ted Kooser served as U.S. poet laureate from 2004 to 2006. Reprinted from "Some Heaven," by Todd Davis, with permission of the author and publisher. This column does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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