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Recorded for Poem-a-Day on September 21, 2017.
About this Poem 
“I wrote this poem in Ameliasburgh, Ontario, while staying in the A-frame that the Canadian poet Al Purdy and his wife Eurithe built, mostly out of salvaged lumber, on the edge of Roblin Lake. The lake itself isn’t very deep—Purdy called it ‘a backwater puddle’—but some days the wind was strong enough to create waves that splashed and broke against the stones at the water’s edge. At night, hearing wind gust over the A-frame’s roof, I could imagine the weather as a kind of invisible companion.”
—James Arthur
 

Wind

              it’s true sometimes I cannot
stop myself from spilling
              the recycling
 
unpetalling apple blossoms raiding
a picnic
making off with napkins I’m nothing
              until I happen
flipping an umbrella outside-in
                      throwing its owner
              into a fumble
pelting the avenue with sleet or dust
 
at times downtown
              riding over galleries of air
so full of high excitement howling
I borrow an old woman’s hat
              and fling it into the road
 
arriving with news of the larkspur
              and the bumblebee
at times embracing you so lightly
in ways you don’t even register
              as touch

Copyright © 2017 by James Arthur. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 21, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by James Arthur. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 21, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

James Arthur

James Arthur

James Arthur is the author of Charms Against Lightning (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). He teaches at Johns Hopkins University and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

by this poet

poem

I used to be as unsentimental as anyone could be.
Now I’m almost absurd, a clown, carrying you on my shoulders
around and around Palmer Square, through the cold night wind,
as stores lock up, and begin closing down. Goodnight,

fair trade coffee. Goodnight, Prada shoes. Goodnight soon,

poem

O hefty hardcover on the built-in shelf in my parents’ living
      room,
O authority stamped on linen paper, molted from your dust
      jacket ,
Questing Beast of blue and gold, you were my companion

on beige afternoons that came slanting through the curtains
behind the rough

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