“Movement”

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Feb. 7 2012 6:30 AM

“Movement”


Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Wyn Cooper read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

The countryside’s alive with movement:
a murder of crows flies over us,
cows in a field walk in line
instead of side by side, tractor
slowly plows another field.
Cars drive by from time to time,
robins soar from tree to tree
to telephone line, which
sways under their feathery weight,
making local conversations hazy.              
Branches and leaves flap in a wind
that blows circles of dust into the air,
clogs our lungs and makes us cough
until we see clouds coming fast.

We laugh and laugh—the weather’s why
we left—then dredge up stories
from the years we lived here, among
cows and plows and pines, before we
settled in a city of other movements,
found new rhythms that suit us better,
we tell ourselves over and over.

For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click here. Click here to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site. Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.

Wyn Cooper's most recent book is Chaos Is the New Calm. He's a poetry manuscript editor, and his website is www.wyncooper.com.

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