A Letter in October

Ted Kooser


A Letter in October

Ted Kooser


Poem introduction

I have a building on which I write which is down by a small pond that we own and I go down there and sit early in the morning and look out across this little pond. And the following poem comes out of one of those mornings - very quiet observations of the pond.

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.


'A Letter in October' from Weather Central (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994), © Ted Kooser 1994, used by permission of the author and the publisher. All rights are controlled by the University of Pitsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, www.pitt.edu/press/.

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