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THE POETRY COLUMN

Our earliest recollections are often imprinted in our memories because they were associated with some kind of stress. Here, in an untitled poem, the Nebraska State Poet, William Kloefkorn, brings back a difficult moment from many years before, and makes a late confession:

Ted Kooser, U.S. poet laureate, 2004-2006

I stand alone at the foot

Of my father's grave,

Trembling to tell:

The door to the granary is open,

Sir,

And someone lost the bucket

To the well.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by the Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Poem © 2004 by William Kloefkorn, whose most recent book of poetry is Still Life Moving, WSC Press, 2007, illustrated with pastel paintings by Carlos Frey. Reprinted from Alvin Turner As Farmer, Logan House, 2004, by permission of the author and publisher. Introduction © 2007 by the Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be accepted.

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