Monday, November 10, 2008

Poetry Monday: In honor of Love that Dog

So, in honor of my review of Sharon Creech's Love that Dog, I got to thinking about what my favorite poem is. Now, I love me some Shakespeare, and I actually have a deep place in my heart for Japanese tanka and haiku. And there's this poem, that always makes me smile because my boyfriend (now husband) tried to convince me that he wrote it about me, even though I was an English major at the time and knew a little something about Lord Byron.

But. My current favorite poem, the one that sings inside my head, is "Tattoo" by Ted Kooser.


What once was meant to be a statement-
a dripping dagger held in the fist
of a shuddering heart-is now just a bruise
on a bony old shoulder, the spot
where vanity once punched him hard
and the ache lingered on. He looks like
someone you had to reckon with,
strong as a stallion, fast and ornery,
but on this chilly morning, as he walks
between the tables at a yard sale
with the sleeves of his tight black T-shirt
rolled up to show us who he was,
he is only another old man, picking up
broken tools and putting them back,
his heart gone soft and blue with stories.
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