Mothers and fathers grow accustomed to being asked by young children, "What's that? " Thus parents relearn the world by having to explain...
Mothers and fathers grow accustomed to being asked by young children, “What’s that?” Thus parents relearn the world by having to explain things they haven’t thought about in years. In this poem the Illinois poet Bruce Guernsey looks closely at common, everyday moss and tries to explain its nature for us. I admire the way the poem deepens as the moss moves from being a slipcover to wet dust on a gravestone.
TED KOOSER, U.S. Poet Laureate
How must it be
Most Read Stories
- Seahawks, Titans only teams to both not take the field during day of anthem protests across NFL WATCH
- A daring betrayal helped wipe out Cali cocaine cartel
- Huskies get first test of season out of the way and they aced it with win at Colorado | Larry Stone
- Analysis: Three things we learned from the Seahawks' 33-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans
- Pete Carroll responds to Trump comments, backs Seahawks: 'We stand for our players and their constitutional rights'
to be moss,
that slipcover of rocks? —
greening in the dark,
longing for north,
of birds gone south.
How does moss do it,
in a dank place
and never a cough? —
a wet dust
where light fails,
where the chisel
cut the name.
Reprinted from “Peripheral Vision,” published by Small Poetry Press, Pleasant Hill, CA. Copyright © 1997 by Bruce Guernsey and reprinted by permission of the author, whose latest book is “The Lost Brigade,” Water Press and Media, 2005. 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. “American Life in Poetry” appears Fridays in Northwest Life.