poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Recorded for Poem-a-Day on September 18, 2017.
About this Poem 
“What if a poem were a place where you could put an idea—and, were you to do so—the idea would no longer remain present in your own body? Would the poem contain the idea, or try to shift it elsewhere?”
—Heather Christle
 

Mistake

For years I have seen
dead animals on the highway
 
and grieved for them
only to realize they are
 
not dead animals
they are t shirts
 
or bits of blown tire
and I have found
 
myself with this
excess of grief
 
I have made with
no object to let
 
it spill over and
I have not known
 
where to put it or
keep it and then today
 
I thought I know
I can give it to you
 

Copyright © 2017 by Heather Christle. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 18, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Heather Christle. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 18, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Heather Christle

Heather Christle

Heather Christle is the author of the poetry collections Heliopause (Wesleyan University Press, 2015) and What Is Amazing (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). 

by this poet

poem

The lack of a single-word infinitive
in our language is what is killing me

this morning
                           A single word for all
infinitives is what God is doing tonight

This is just one of many acts
to have passed through the garden

Previously on this show they put

poem
It was the military
        coming together

on paper under glass

to shine on me! they
        called me

        damp thing it was
my name coming

together under orders

nothing would go
        unlaminated

they said
        they said

under orders     after death
all things must shine
poem
This tree has a small LED display 
It is glowing and it can show you words 
and it can show you pictures and it can melt 
from one choice to another and you are looking at it 
and it wants you to share the message 
but it can't see that you are the only one around 
and that everyone else is hibernating 
which