Where I Live

Maxine Kumin

 
is vertical:
garden, pond, uphill
pasture, run-in shed.
Through pines, Pumpkin Ridge.
Two switchbacks down
church spire, spit of town.
Where I climb I inspect
the peas, cadets erect
in lime-capped rows,
hear hammer blows
as pileateds peck
the rot of shagbark hickories
enlarging last
year's pterodactyl nests.
Granite erratics
humped like bears
dot the outermost pasture
where in tall grass
clots of ovoid scat
butternut-size, milky brown
announce our halfgrown
moose padded past
into the forest
to nibble beech tree sprouts.
Wake-robin trillium
in dapple-shade. Violets,
landlocked seas I swim in.
I used to pick bouquets
for her, framed them
with leaves. Schmutzige
she said, holding me close
to scrub my streaky face.
Almost from here I touch
my mother's death.
 
From Where I Live by Maxine Kumin. Copyright © 2010 by Maxine Kumin. Used by permission of W. W. Norton.

Poems by This Author

In the Park by Maxine Kumin
You have forty-nine days between
Jack by Maxine Kumin
How pleasant the yellow butter
Looking Back in My Eighty-First Year by Maxine Kumin
Instead of marrying the day after graduation
Purgatory by Maxine Kumin
And suppose the darlings get to Mantua,
The Hermit Goes Up Attic by Maxine Kumin
Up attic, Lucas Harrison, God rest
Woodchucks by Maxine Kumin
Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right.


Further Reading

Poems about Landscapes
from In This World of 12 Months
by Marcella Durand
Rocket Fantastic [excerpt]
by Gabrielle Calvocoressi
A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)
by Emily Dickinson
A Small Hot Town
by Collier Nogues
A Story
by Philip Levine
At the Fishhouses
by Elizabeth Bishop
Balance
by Adam Zagajewski
Coastal Plain
by Kathryn Stripling Byer
For-The-Spirits-Who-Have-Rounded-The-Bend IIVAQSAAT
by dg nanouk okpik
from Crossing State Lines [Shirtsleeved afternoons]
by Rita Dove
Hovering at a Low Altitude
by Dahlia Ravikovitch
Imaginary June
by C. D. Wright
Inland
by Chase Twichell
Lake Havasu
by Dorianne Laux
Landscape With The Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams
One Day
by Joseph Millar
Pied Beauty
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Prairie Spring
by Willa Cather
The Pasture
by Robert Frost
The Philosopher in Florida
by C. Dale Young
This Lime Tree Bower My Prison
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Useless Landscape
by D. A. Powell
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Poems about Living
"I'm afraid of death"
by Kathleen Ossip
A Toast
by Ilya Kaminsky
Another Elegy
by Jericho Brown
Ashes of Life
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
August, 1953
by David Wojahn
bonne chance de lycée
by Buck Downs
C'est La Guerre
by Danniel Schoonebeek
Characteristics of Life
by Camille T. Dungy
Corpse Flower, Luna Moth
by Daniel Tobin
Costumes Exchanging Glances
by Mary Jo Bang
Daily Life
by Susan Wood
Difficult Body
by Mark Wunderlich
Elegy in Joy [excerpt]
by Muriel Rukeyser
En Route
by Darcie Dennigan
far memory
by Lucille Clifton
First Things to Hand
by Robert Pinsky
Flowers of Rad
by Sampson Starkweather
Forth Into View, Random Warriors
by Pattiann Rogers
from Oracles for Youth
by Caroline Gilman
from Two Inch Fables
by Marilyn Chin
Frozen
by Natasha Head
How to Uproot a Tree
by Jennifer K. Sweeney
I could suffice for Him, I knew (643)
by Emily Dickinson
I Have a Rendezvous With Life
by Countee Cullen
I Know A Few Things
by Stuart Dischell
In a Landscape: IV
by John Gallaher
In Betweenness
by Pierre Joris
Insomnia
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Life
by Joe Brainard
Life is Fine
by Langston Hughes
Little Night Prayer
by Péter Kántor
Living in Numbers
by Claire Lee
Lost and Found
by Ron Padgett
Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus [excerpt]
by Denise Levertov
Meaning
by Carl Dennis
Meditation 29
by Philip Pain
Montparnasse
by Ernest Hemingway
My Teacup
by Alli Warren
On Disappearing
by Major Jackson
On Living
by Nazim Hikmet
On the Gallows Once
by Kofi Awoonor
One Train May Hide Another
by Kenneth Koch
Past Inclemency & Present Warmth
by Eryn Green
Poem Excluding Fiction
by Noah Falck
Preparation
by Effie Waller Smith
Primitive State [excerpt]
by Anselm Berrigan
Roar Shack
by Alice Fulton
Samurai Song
by Robert Pinsky
Song for Future Books
by Joanna Fuhrman
Songs of a Girl
by Mary Carolyn Davies
Sonnet
by Bill Knott
Spent
by Mark Doty
sugar is smoking
by Jason Schneiderman
Summer in Winter in Summer
by Noah Eli Gordon
Tear It Down
by Jack Gilbert
The Clouded Morning
by Jones Very
The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz
The Life So Short...
by Eamon Grennan
The Old Stoic
by Emily Brontë
The Pain
by Laura Kasischke
The Secret
by Denise Levertov
This is My Life
by William Stanley Braithwaite
Thoughts
by Walt Whitman
Thrown as if Fierce & Wild
by Dean Young
Variation on a Theme
by W. S. Merwin
Virgil's Hand
by Francesc Parcerisas
What the Living Do
by Marie Howe
What Wild-Eyed Murderer
by Peter Meinke
What's Left (Al-Mutanabbi Street)
by Katrina Roberts
won't you celebrate with me
by Lucille Clifton
Yellow Beak
by Stephen Dobyns
[I'm not with my]
by Joshua Beckman