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

East Pierce hosting annual open house Sept. 29

Don’t miss out on the free, family fun activities and demonstrations, like tearing a car apart with the jaws of life.

Fun run will benefit animal rescue group

Grab your furry friend’s leash and head out to Lake Wilderness Park on Sept. 29.

Some days, it’s good to feel needed

Some days, you just need a hug. Other days, you only want… Continue reading

Local Scout earns his wings

Kyle Ross Dunning is a member of Boy Scout Troop 422.

Beautify Enumclaw, Buckley | Slideshow

Many public spaces, like Enumclaw’s community garden by the library and Veterans Memorial Park, or Buckley’s Youth Center, were given makeovers by scored of energetic volunteers.

Enumclaw lessons helped lead to military success | Navy Outreach

“Growing up in a small town, it kind of helped me gauge different people and network in a way that would benefit me,” Nelsen said. “It is humbling growing up in a small town and I did not lose sight of where I came from.”

Flu season is coming; get your shots soon | Public Health Center

To help you decide when, where, and how to get vaccinated, Public Health Insider compiled answers to some of the most common questions they see regarding to flu vaccinations.

Answers may be hard to come

You’re on the edge of your chair. Curiosity is almost killing you;… Continue reading

Caregivers can identify with “Happy Tears” | Pierce County

“Happy Tears” is the story of two sisters who lead very different lives and return home to care for their aging father.

World-wide myths, legends meet teen-friendly narrative

Your favorite superhero was 10 feet tall. Larger than life. Super-sized, right… Continue reading

Enumclaw welcomes new faces in schools, district office

Check out the new educators and other school staff.

Levy money to aid senior programs in Enumclaw, Black Diamond | King County

By 2040, more than a quarter of King County’s population will be seniors. Healthy lifestyles and social engagement are keys to living long and living well.