"Two Poems"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 8 2011 6:57 AM

"Two Poems"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Charles Simic read these poems. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

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Red Alarm Clock

"I want to sail down the Nile
At sunset
Before I die,"
You said once, Cleopatra.

The room, I recall,
Had a plank floor,
A narrow bed, and a window 
Facing a brick wall,

Plus a chair where I kept
A pint of bourbon,
The coffee cup we used as an ashtray,
And a red alarm clock.

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Don't Name the Chickens

Let them peck in the yard
As they please
Or walk over to stand
By the edge of the road.

The rooster strutting about
Will keep an eye on them,
Till it's time for them
To step under a tree