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About this Poem 

"Ideally, this little poem would be printed as a circle and wouldn’t start or end but rather would round upon itself like the seamless repose of the dragon. But, on second thought, since it’s describing the disruption of the dragon’s perfect circuit, I guess it makes sense that it’s all chopped up."


—Kay Ryan

Token Loss

Kay Ryan, 1945
To the dragon
any loss is
total. His rest 
is disrupted
if a single 
jewel encrusted
goblet has
been stolen.
The circle
of himself
in the nest
of his gold
has been
broken.  No
loss is token.

Copyright © 2014 by Kay Ryan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 10, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2014 by Kay Ryan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 10, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan

The author of several collections of poetry, Kay Ryan has served as both a Poet Laureate for the Library of Congress and a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets.

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poem
Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant 
ranges and 
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest 
relish by
natives in their 
native dress.
Who would 
have guessed
it possible 
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with 
its own harvests.
Or that in 
time's fullness
the
poem
As though
the river were
a floor, we position
our table and chairs
upon it, eat, and 
have conversation.
As it moves along,
we notice—as
calmly as though
dining room paintings 
were being replaced—
the changing scenes 
along the shore. We
do know, we do 
know this is the
Niagara River, but 
it is hard to