tectonics

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Oh how this makes me ache…

Tectonics
Ted Kooser
In only a few months
there begin to be fissures
in what we remember,
and within a year or two,
the facts break apart
one from another
and slowly begin to shift
and turn, grinding,
pushing up over each other
until their shapes
have been changed
and the past has become
a new world.
And after many years,
even a love affair,
one lush green island
all to itself,
perfectly detailed
with even a candle
softly lighting a smile,
may slide under the waves
like Atlantis,
scarcely rippling the heart.

Photo by Ken Suarez on Unsplash

channeled and dammed

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Home Medical Dictionary
Ted Kooser

This is not so much a dictionary
as it is an atlas for the old,
in which they pore over
the pink and gray maps of the body,
hoping to find that wayside junction
where a pain-rutted road
intersects with the highway
of answers, and where the slow river
of fear that achingly meanders
from organ to organ
is finally channeled and dammed.

Photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash

tiptoe

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Walking on Tiptoe
Ted Kooser
Long ago we quit lifting our heels
like the others—horse, dog, and tiger—
though we thrill to their speed
as they flee. Even the mouse
bearing the great weight of a nugget
of dog food is enviably graceful.
There is little spring to our walk,
we are so burdened with responsibility,
all of the disciplinary actions
that have fallen to us, the punishments,
the killings, and all with our feet
bound stiff in the skins of the conquered.
But sometimes, in the early hours,
we can feel what it must have been like
to be one of them, up on our toes,
stealing past doors where others are sleeping,
and suddenly able to see in the dark.