Sunday, October 12, 2008

Selecting A Reader

by Ted Kooser

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
“For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned.” And she will.


Anonymous said...

Ah! but then she would reconsider,
turn and carefully slip the book
into her pocket
She would be excited by her wickedness but pleased that she
could have her coat and wear it, too.

La Cootina said...

but before she even reached the door,
she slipped the book back out of her pocket.

The coat was already dirty
and the cost of the book
was a small price to pay
for being able to sleep at night,
perhaps dreaming of a poet
who could pay his electric bill.