Afterlife – poem by Bruce Snider | Ted Kooser

Perhaps there’s a kind of afterlife that is made up of our memories of a departed person, especially as these cling to that person’s belongings. Bruce Snider, who lives and teaches in California, suggests that here.

Perhaps there’s a kind of afterlife that is made up of our memories of a departed person, especially as these cling to that person’s belongings. Bruce Snider, who lives and teaches in California, suggests that here.

Afterlife

 

I wake to leafless vines and muddy fields,

patches of standing water. His pocketknife

 

waits in my dresser drawer, still able to gut fish.

I pick up his green shirt, put it on for the fourth day

 

in a row. Outside, the rusty nail he hammered

catches me, leaves its stain on everything.

 

The temperature drops, the whole shore

filling with him: his dented chew can, waders,

 

the cattails kinked, bowing their distress.

At the pier, I use his old pliers to ready the line:

 

fatheads, darters, a blood worm jig. Today, the lake’s

one truth is hardness. When the trout bite,

 

I pull the serviceable things glistening into air.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher ofPoetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2012 by Bruce Snider from his most recent book of poems, Paradise, Indiana, Pleiades Press, 2012. Poem reprinted by permission of Bruce Snider and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2013 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

 

More in Life

Beer Walk coming Saturday to downtown Enumclaw

Tickets sold out at the last event in an hour, so get yours soon.

Spartans rock the cap and gown | Slideshow

Check out some photos from last Friday’s Sumner High School graduation.

Don’t miss out on the summer reading kickoff event on June 27.

Summer is almost here! Parents: What are you going to do to… Continue reading

Holy Family Cemetery gets facelift

New leadership helped complete cemetery cleaning project and add new features.

Enumclaw couple reach marriage milestone of 75 years

Fred and Jean Gramann have been married since 1943

White River High School graduation 2018 | Slideshow

Hornets earned more than $2.8 million in scholarships this year.

You’ll enjoy ‘Us Against You’ more if you read the prequel

You’re going down. Down, defeated, beaten, and sent home. You’re losing, not… Continue reading

Exchange your worn out flags during Flag Week

Between June 11 and June 15, you can exchange your flags at two Enumclaw locations.

Most Read