People's Poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document dogletterpoem #1

dear pooky I am visiting my cousin coeur d’or that means heart of gold which she hasn’t for she keeps her rawhide bone from me but I snatch it and go under the piano I have not peed on the rug yet I am taking heartworm pills coeur and I go outside forty times a day there is a gopher who lives on the lawn grampa dropped a radish down the kitchen drain as soon as the pipe filled with water the radish would float up and close off the pipe so that no more water would go down he finally had to take the plumbing apart he didn’t look too hot when he was finished neither did the radish he says it would have been an entirely different story if he’d only dropped a strawberry write back love muffie
© Jacqueline Jackson 2008

From your school days you may remember A. E. Housman’s poem that begins, “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now/ Is hung with bloom along the bough.” Here’s a look at a blossoming cherry, done 120 years later, on site among the famous cherry trees of Washington, by D.C. poet Judith Harris.

In Your Absence
Not yet summer, but unseasonable heat pries open the cherry tree.
It stands there stupefied, in its sham, pink frills, dense with early blooming.
Then, as afternoon cools into more furtive winds, I look up to see a blizzard of petals rushing the sky.
It is only April. I can’t stop my own life from hurrying by. The moon, already pacing.

Poem copyright © 2007 by Judith Harris, whose most recent collection of poems is The Bad Secret (Louisiana State University Press, 2006). American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ted Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. For more information, go to

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