Tom Clausen


                                                    how ironic
                                                    coming to love
                                                    this life and world
                                                    and at the same time
                                                    letting it go

                                                    while planting bulbs
                                                    my wife unearths
                                                    a childhood cap gun of mine
                                                    I hold it
                                                    trying to grasp back then

                                                    that's it,
                                                    what I do, and tell
                                                    the inquisitive stranger
                                                    who asks

                                                    I smile broadly
                                                    at one, then another
                                                    and another,
                                                    this fascination with faces
                                                    smiling back

                                                    what attracted me most
                                                    to the poem
                                                    had not so much to do
                                                    with the poem
                                                    but that she liked it

                                                    blowing across
                                                    the plowed field
                                                    a sheet of newspaper
                                                    with who knows what
                                                    kind of news

                                                    I asked him about his day
                                                    what he did
                                                    if he got enough sleep
                                                    and in response
                                                    a soulful look and purring

                                                    high clouds
                                                    one horse leans in
                                                    against another–
                                                    before our children
                                                    my wife and I were like that

                                                    with thunder very close
                                                    our little dog
                                                    gets under my legs,
                                                    if only I could feel
                                                    so safe with myself