Date: 3/8/17 12:43 pm
From: K. Hilary Ford <khilaryf32...>
Subject: [wisb] Fwd: American Life in Poetry 624
We have driven back from the south occasionally and stopped to see the
cranes early in the spring - such a wonderful sight, and here it is in
poetry. Enjoy it everyone! Hilary Ford
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <alp...> <alp...>
Date: Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Subject: American Life in Poetry 624
To: "K. Hilary Frod" <khilaryf32...>

Welcome to American Life in Poetry. For information on permissions and
usage, or to download a PDF version of the column, visit


American Life in Poetry: Column 624

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Charles Peek is a Nebraska poet who lives near that section of the Platte
River where early each year hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes pause
in their migration to nourish themselves for the long flight north. There
have been many poems written about the cranes, but this one reaches a
little further into our lives. Peek's recent collection of poems is *Breezes
on their Way to Being Winds*, from Finishing Line Press.

*Unlike objects, two stories can occupy the same space*

Out along the last curve in the brick walk
the grass has begun to green,
with the freezing cold and coming snow
its certain fate.

The cranes make the same mistake,
fields of red capped heads attest their arrival
just before the worst blizzard of winter
makes it impossible to tell the field from the river.

And we, too, have known these mortal mishaps,
miscalculated our time, found ourselves out of step,
arriving too early, staying on too late,
misjudging the nearness, the vengeance of the storm.

The cranes, the grass, they tell us:
this can go on for millions of years.

*We do not accept unsolicited submissions.* American Life in Poetry is made
possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of
*Poetry* magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2016 by Charles Peek,
“Unlike objects, two stories can occupy the same space,” (2016). Poem
reprinted by permission of Charles Peek. Introduction copyright ©2017 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.


American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a
free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission
of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to
create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs
for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your
publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without

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