American Life in Poetry: Column 153
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
In this endearing short poem by Californian Trish Dugger,
we can imagine "what if?" What if we had been given "a baker's
dozen of hearts?" I imagine many more and various love poems
would be written. Here Ms. Dugger, Poet Laureate of the City
of Encinitas, makes fine use of the one patched but good heart
We barge out of the womb
with two of them: eyes, ears,
arms, hands, legs, feet.
Only one heart. Not a good
plan. God should know we
need at least a dozen,
a baker's dozen of hearts.
They break like Easter eggs
hidden in the grass,
stepped on and smashed.
My own heart is patched,
bandaged, taped, barely
the same shape it once was
when it beat fast for you.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The
Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher
of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department
of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.Poem
copyright (c) 2006 by Trish Dugger. Reprinted from
"Magee Park Poets:Anthology 2007," No. 18, Friends
of the Carlsbad City Library, 2006, by permission of Trish Dugger.
Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation.
The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United
States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library
of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited