David Wagoner
For A Row Of Laurel Shrubs by David Wagoner

For A Row Of Laurel Shrubs by David Wagoner

They don't want to be your hedge, Your barrier, your living wall, the no-go & nbsp; Go-between between your property And the prying of dogs and strangers. They don't ...

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The Junior High School Band Concert by David Wagoner

The Junior High School Band Concert by David Wagoner

When our semi-conductorRaised his baton, we sat thereGaping at Marche Militaire,Our mouth-opening number.It seemed faintly familiar(We'd rehearsed it all that winter),But we ...

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The Shooting Of John Dillinger Outside The Biograph Theater, July 22, 1934 by David Wagoner

The Shooting Of John Dillinger Outside The Biograph Theater, July 22, 1934 by David Wagoner

Chicago ran a fever of a hundred and one that groggy Sunday.A reporter fried an egg on a sidewalk; the air looked shaky.And a hundred thousand people were in the lake like shirts ...

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This Is A Wonderful Poem by David Wagoner

This Is A Wonderful Poem by David Wagoner

Come at it carefully, don't trust it, that isn't its right name,It's wearing stolen rags, it's never been washed, its breathWould look moss-green if it were really breathing,It ...

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Getting There by David Wagoner

Getting There by David Wagoner

You take a final step and, look, suddenlyYou're there. You've arrivedAt the one place all your drudgery was aimed for:This common groundWhere you stretch out, pressing your cheek ...

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Do Not Proceed Beyond This Point without a Guide by David Wagoner

Do Not Proceed Beyond This Point without a Guide by David Wagoner

The official warning, nailed to a hemlock,Doesn't say why. I stand with my back to it,Afraid I've come as far as I canBy being stubborn, and lookDownward for miles at the hazy ...

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Among Driftwood by David Wagoner

Among Driftwood by David Wagoner

Trees haven't come here to die. They've done that in other forests, on other coasts, having lost their leaves and their bark and come ashore by ...

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The Silence of the Stars by David Wagoner

The Silence of the Stars by David Wagoner

When Laurens van der Post one night In the Kalahari Desert told the Bushmen He couldn't hear the stars Singing, they ...

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Lost by David Wagoner

Lost by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to ...

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Wallace Stevens On His Way To Work by David Wagoner

Wallace Stevens On His Way To Work by David Wagoner

He would leave early and walk slowly As if balancing books On the way to school, already expecting To be tardy once again and heavy With numbers, the ...

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At The Door by David Wagoner

At The Door by David Wagoner

All actors look for them-the defining momentsWhen what a character does is what he is.The script may say, He goes to the doorAnd exits or She goes out the door stage left.But you ...

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Thoreau and the Snapping Turtle by David Wagoner

Thoreau and the Snapping Turtle by David Wagoner

As his boat glided across a flooded meadow,He saw beneath him under lily pads,Brown as dead leaves in mud, a yard-longSnapping turtle staring up through the waterAt him, its shell ...

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My Fire by David Wagoner

My Fire by David Wagoner

In the cave under our houseI tended the fire: a furnaceWhere black fossils of fernsAnd swamp-shaking dinosaursWould burn through the cold morningsIf I shook the dying and ...

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Up Against the Sea by David Wagoner

Up Against the Sea by David Wagoner

At the foot of the cliff, the sea is taking backwhat it left there long ago, and the landownershave made a barricade of three old carsbetween low and high tide and loaded themwith ...

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Following A Stream by David Wagoner

Following A Stream by David Wagoner

Don't do it, the guidebook says,if you're lost. Then it goes on to talk about something else, taking the easy way out,which of course is what water doesas a ...

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A Snap Quiz in Body Language by David Wagoner

A Snap Quiz in Body Language by David Wagoner

We can't hear what they're saying, but that manis holding that woman in his arms. Your assignmentis to deduce their thoughts from what they do.They've left no apparent space ...

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Report from a Forest Logged by the Weyerhaeuser Company by David Wagoner

Report from a Forest Logged by the Weyerhaeuser Company by David Wagoner

Three square miles clear-cut.Now only the facts matter:The heaps of gray-splintered rubble,The churned-up duff, the roots, the bulldozed slash,The silence,And beyond the ninth ...

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My Father Laughing in the Chicago Theater by David Wagoner

My Father Laughing in the Chicago Theater by David Wagoner

His heavy body would double itself forwardAt the waist, swell, and come heaving aroundTo slam at his seatback, making the screws groanAnd squawk down half the row as it went ...

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That Child by David Wagoner

That Child by David Wagoner

That child was dangerous. That just-born Newly washed and silent baby Wrapped in deerskin and held warm Against the side of its mother could understand The ...

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Every Good Boy Does Fine by David Wagoner

Every Good Boy Does Fine by David Wagoner

I practiced my cornet in a cold garageWhere I could blast it till the oil in drumsBoomed back; tossed free throws till I couldn't move my thumbs;Sprinted through tires, tackling a ...

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Bums at Breakfast by David Wagoner

Bums at Breakfast by David Wagoner

Daily, the bums sat down to eat in our kitchen.They seemed to be whatever the day was like:If it was hot or cold, they were hot or cold;If it was wet, they came in dripping ...

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The Name by David Wagoner

The Name by David Wagoner

When a man or a woman died, something of theirs,some token—a beaded belt, a pair of moccasins,a necklace—would be left beside the pathwhere a hunting party, returning, would see ...

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Road Kill by David Wagoner

Road Kill by David Wagoner

The three crows are scuttling back and forth between the gutter and the dead possum near the yellow-striped centerwhere commuters are trying ...

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Old Man, Old Man by David Wagoner

Old Man, Old Man by David Wagoner

Young men, not knowing what to remember,Come to this hiding place of the moons and years,To this Old Man. Old Man, they say, where should we go?Where did you find what you ...

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In Rubble by David Wagoner

In Rubble by David Wagoner

Right after the bomb, even before the ceiling And walls and floor are rearranging You and themselves into a different world, You must hold still, must wait for them To ...

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Mapmaking by David Wagoner

Mapmaking by David Wagoner

It's an old desire: a sketch of part of the earthThere in your hands. You touch it, saying, There.So make your map:If you have no crossroads, no confluence of streamsTo set your ...

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Natural Disasters by David Wagoner

Natural Disasters by David Wagoner

Long ago, we had to admit, in acquisitive Englishthe Romans knew what they were talking aboutwhen they made a negative out of lucky starsby labeling some of the deadly ones ...

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The Heart Of The Forest by David Wagoner

The Heart Of The Forest by David Wagoner

You pretend to look for wildflowers, but what you're doingis trying to find traces of where your feetlost their sense of direction in the woods.You can name the trees and what's ...

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Peacock Display by David Wagoner

Peacock Display by David Wagoner

He approaches her, trailing his whole fortune, Perfectly cocksure, and suddenly spreads The huge fan of his tail for her amazement. Each turquoise and purple, black-horned, ...

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For Laurel and Hardy on My Workroom Wall by David Wagoner

For Laurel and Hardy on My Workroom Wall by David Wagoner

They're tipping their battered derbies and striding forward In step for a change, chipper, self-assured, Their cardboard suitcases labeled Guest of Steerage. They've just arrived ...

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Their Bodies by David Wagoner

Their Bodies by David Wagoner

To the students of anatomy at Indiana UniversityThat gaunt old man came first, his hair as white As your scoured tables. Maybe you'll recollect him By the scars of steelmill burns ...

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The Cherry Tree by David Wagoner

The Cherry Tree by David Wagoner

Out of the nursery and into the garden where it rooted and survived its first hard winter, then a few years of freedom while it blossomed, put out its first tentative branches, ...

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For a Student Sleeping in a Poetry Workshop by David Wagoner

For a Student Sleeping in a Poetry Workshop by David Wagoner

I've watched his eyelids sag, spring open Vaguely and gradually go sliding Shut again, fly upWith a kind of drunken surprise, then wobble Peacefully together to send him ...

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