Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Muldoon
Paul Muldoon
Born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1951, Paul Muldoon is the author of numerous collections, including Moy Sand and Gravel, which won the Pulitzer Prize...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Related Poems
Look How Far You've Come
by Laurie Lamon
Navigating in the Dark
by Erik Campbell
The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir
by Richard Hugo
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Extraordinary Rendition

 
by Paul Muldoon

I.

I gave you back my claim on the mining town
and the rich vein we once worked,
the tumble down
from a sluice box that irked

you so much, the narrow gauge
that opened up to one and all
when it ran out at the landing stage
beyond the falls.

I gave you back oak ties,
bully flitches, the hand-hewn crossbeams
from which hung hardtack

in a burlap bag that, I'd surmise,
had burst its seams
the last night we lay by the old spur track.

II.

You gave me back your frown
and the most recent responsibility you'd shirked
along with something of your renown
for having jumped from a cage just before it jerked

to a standstill, your wild rampage
shot through with silver falderals,
the speed of that falling cage
and the staidness of our canyon walls.

You gave me back lake skies,
pulley glitches, gully pitches, the reflected gleams
of two tin plates and mugs in the shack,

the echoes of love sighs
and love screams
our canyon walls had already given back.				

				

				
				






Excerpted from Maggot by Paul Muldoon. Published in September 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by Paul Muldoon. All rights reserved.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.