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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, May 3, 2016.
About this Poem 

“We like to think of help as something quicker and more robust than these comical emergency services. But look: they help anyway.”
—Kay Ryan

Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles
are on the way but
slow ones. You will
have to go on for
some time. Well, years.
Then one day they will
suddenly arrive
and show you your
chest, which is
neatly packed with
something, you see.
You thank them,
having feared you
would be lost.

Copyright © 2016 by Kay Ryan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 3, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Kay Ryan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 3, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

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.

by this poet

poem
Nothing exists as a block
and cannot be parceled up.
So if nothing's ventured
it's not just talk;
it's the big wager.
Don't you wonder
how people think
the banks of space 
and time don't matter?
How they'll drain
the big tanks down to 
slime and salamanders
and want thanks?
poem
The chickens
are circling and
blotting out the 
day. The sun is 
bright, but the 
chickens are in 
the way. Yes,
the sky is dark
with chickens, 
dense with them.
They turn and 
then they turn 
again. These 
are the chickens
you let loose
one at a time
and small—
various breeds.
Now they have 
come home
to roost—
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poem

 

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