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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

Where the Sky Meets the Earth

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 14, 2017
About this Poem 
“When I wrote this poem, my father had just passed the week before. I started writing a poem every day because writing poems felt like something I needed to do to stay alive—this one was day five. This poem is a goodbye to father, but also an unwillingness to let him go. It’s how grief feels to me.”
—W. Todd Kaneko
 

Where the Sky Meets the Earth

A man can’t die where there is no earth
 
because there will be no place
to bury him. His body is the sky
and understands the language of birds.
 
His body says the earth is made of everything
that has fallen from Heaven
 
while no one was looking. He promises
to defy gravity and then return home.
 
A man can’t reach for the sky and not feel
he is falling. It goes on forever and the birds
talk about the awesomeness of flight
 
while the oxen labor in the fields,
while the cows eat grass and dream
 
of slaughter. A man can’t talk about flight
because one day, there will be no sky,
just the body covered in earth.
 
And now the sky is empty of birds.
And now the earth is covered in flowers.

Copyright © 2017 by W. Todd Kaneko. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 14, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by W. Todd Kaneko. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 14, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

date title authorsort descending
May 24, 2017 The Runaround Rae Armantrout
May 26, 2014 Lie Rae Armantrout
April 02, 2009 Unbidden Rae Armantrout
April 03, 2015 Negotiations Rae Armantrout
October 30, 2013 A Conceit Rae Armantrout
April 24, 2007 Thing Rae Armantrout
July 17, 2012 Chirality Rae Armantrout
October 14, 2010 Custom Rae Armantrout
September 16, 2014 Dämmerung Simon Armitage
March 27, 2011 The Buried Life Matthew Arnold

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