- Croquet Ball
It has rolled to a stop along one wallof the dim garage, rolled in through the wicketof the overhead door, the last sharp clackof a mallet so far behind it now that onlythe imagination can hear it, clacking in overthe clipped, imagined grass. Its pale green stripe —the green of the handles on old kitchen spoons —is even paler now, under a whisper of dust,and the wood has cracked along the grainso that the cracks go round and round itlike rings on a planet. And perhaps it isa planet, and not even one of the lesser onesbut something worth our full attention,and I, while passing through this life,wheeling my lawnmower into the shadows,have been the first to see it waiting there. [End Page 188]
Ted Kooser served two terms as poet laureate of the US. He has been the recipient of many other awards and honors, including the Stanley Kunitz Prize, the James Boatwright Prize, several Pushcart Prizes (most recently in 2012) and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry (2005). He has published thirteen volumes of poetry, five nonfiction books and three books for children. His most recent books are Splitting an Order (Copper Canyon P, 2014) and The Wheeling Year; A Poet’s Field Book (U of Nebraska P, 2014). The Bell in the Bridge (Candlewick Press), a book for children, is forthcoming in 2015. In addition, he edits “American Life in Poetry,” a column which appears weekly in more than 150 newspapers. He currently teaches poetry writing as a Presidential Professor at The University of Nebraska.