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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, June 22, 2017.
About this Poem 

“The journey I’ve taken most often in my life is the drive on the New York State Thruway from my house in Westchester County, just north of the Bronx, to Albany, where I grew up. I’ve seen more dramatic landscapes, but a valley view is still my favorite kind of view, even when anxieties intrude.”
—Kathleen Ossip

A Valley View

To my left,
you, in the driver’s seat.
Chlorophyll, to my right,

through the windowglass, green tipping
to black, tipping to gold, shivering.
Green hills, further on, shading

to blue. Fuzzed slopes, lovable, rolling down down.
Awkward weeds, sprigged, not wheat and won’t feed anyone.
All is Dutch, set out for display and gain.

I’ve come to a conclusion about happiness: I want it.
You say “Sometimes you’ve got
to bust a move.” How would I do that?

Through the windowglass I can get a fearsome burn.
Thus I’m spf’d. I must earn.
On my lap, folderful of papers to which I should turn

but the sun does her thing: down down.
We don’t see her cooling, but we gain
from her careful campaign.

Goodbye glimpse, speed past,
the green consummation tracks
everwards, lost—

Lost me, lost you,
lost green hills shading to blue
and lost the valley view….

Copyright © 2017 by Kathleen Ossip. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 22, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Kathleen Ossip. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 22, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Kathleen Ossip

Kathleen Ossip

Kathleen Ossip is the author of The Do-Over (Sarabande Books, 2015).

by this poet

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To dream of your ardor
is much joy and much happiness.
Your ardor tells me that
I am making a mistake
by not taking hold of what
is offered to me.

What I mean when I say
“your ardor” is stenciled on
the air that surrounds
your big face. The force
of your ardor

poem
Go

It is a cube, it is red, it is mountainous,
it is a bird of fire, it is the bones of the pelvis, it is a walnut,
it is treasured. It is yellow Saturn wobbling in its orbit.
It is danger, squawking.

It is the desire to sit down with strangers in cafes
and then it is the strangers in cafés,

2
poem

I’m afraid of death
because it inflates
the definition
of what a person
is, or love, until
they become the same,
love, the beloved,
immaterial.

I’m afraid of death
because it invents
a different kind of
time, a stopped clock
that can’t be reset,