Advertisement

Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at tampabay.com/coronavirus. Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

THE POETRY COLUMN

I've written about the pleasures of poetry that offers us vivid scenes but which lets us draw our own conclusions about the implications of what we're being shown. The poet can steer us a little by the selection of details, but a lot of the effect of the poem is in what is not said, in what we deduce. Lee McCarthy is a California poet, and here is something seen from across the street, something quite ordinary yet packed with life.

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

Santa Paula

There's a woman kissing a cowboy

across the street. His eight-year-old son

watches from the bus stop bench.

She's really planting one on him,

his Stetson in danger.

It must have been some weekend.

Seeing no room in that embrace for himself,

the boy measures his future, legs

straight out in front of him.

Both hands hold onto a suitcase handle,

thin arms ready to prove themselves.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement