Poem of the Day: A Letter in October

Dawn comes later and later now,   
and I, who only a month ago
could sit with coffee every morning   
watching the light walk down the hill   
to the edge of the pond and place   
a doe there, shyly drinking,

then see the light step out upon   
the water, sowing reflections   
to either side—a garden
of trees that grew as if by magic—
now see no more than my face,   
mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,

startled by time. While I slept,   
night in its thick winter jacket   
bridled the doe with a twist
of wet leaves and led her away,
then brought its black horse with harness   
that creaked like a cricket, and turned

the water garden under. I woke,   
and at the waiting window found   
the curtains open to my open face;   
beyond me, darkness. And I,
who only wished to keep looking out,   
must now keep looking in.

Ted Kooser, "A Letter in October" from Weather Central. Copyright © 1994 by Ted Kooser. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, www.upress.pitt.edu. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994)

Ted Kooser

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