American Life in Poetry: Column 058
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE
A worm in an apple, a maggot in a bone, a person in the world.
What might seem an odd assortment of creatures is beautifully
interrelated by the Massachusetts poet Pat Schneider.
Her poem suggests that each living thing is richly awake to its
own particular, limited world.
There Is Another Way
There is another way to enter an apple:
a worm's way.
The small, round door
closes behind her. The world
and all its necessities
ripen around her like a room.
In the sweet marrow of a bone,
the maggot does not remember
of the mother, the green
shine of her body, nor even
the last breath of the dying deer.
I, too, have forgotten
how I came here, breathing
this sweet wind, drinking rain,
encased by the limits
of what I can imagine
and by a husk of stars.
Reprinted from "Another River: New and Selected
Poems," Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 2005, by
permission of the author. First printed in "Kalliope",
Vol. XII, No. 1, 1989. Copyright (c) 2004 by Pat Schneider.
This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation,
The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not
accept unsolicited poetry.