Poem of the Week: “The Appeal of Antiques” by Allan Peterson

The Appeal of Antiques
By Allan Peterson

The intriguing comfort of an imagined past
is entered through objects
the same way we continue the present
but without nostalgia
Parents so long for happiness they say
one life is not enough
and live through their children
But children also live backwards through past candles
crank telephones   carriages
the ascendant animals that lived not in imagination
but in Kansas and before
there was an Oklahoma with its spotted sun

In those days a metaphor for Hell was the corn sheller
field corn shriven  shooting out cobs
the grindstone   razor strop   even the ladder of progress
from which Les Westfield slipped
on a mossy rung though his son held the ladder
and fell two stories:
one the feudal structure of the family   two the harmonic
of almost fatal necessity
as the maple stump entered his hip along with the difficult
remission of breath itself
an antique whose furious elaborations mimicked the rose

Via poetryfoundation.org


Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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