American Life in Poetry: Column 230
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
It’s been sixty-odd years since I was in the elementary grades, but I clearly remember those first school days in early autumn, when summer was suddenly over and we were all perched in our little desks facing into the future. Here Ron Koertge of California gives us a glimpse of a day like that.
Until then, every forest
had wolves in it, we thought
it would be fun to wear snowshoes
all the time, and we could talk to water.
So why is this woman with the gray
breath calling out names and pointing
to the little desks we will occupy
for the rest of our lives?