- Wooly Caterpillar
I came upon you on a sidewalk,black as a hyphen slowly crossing a page,as if you were trying to connectthe last word in October with a word inthe April to come. From closer upyou looked like a casket being borneby a half-dozen soldiers walking in stepand I stopped, as one would, as you passed.Your casket was draped with the flagof your country, orange like a leaf,and there were clusters of old leaves,many in orange, curled up in lawn chairsall along the processional, younger onesrestless and darting about. I thoughtI should take off my cap and I did,and the late autumn wind in my earswas the bugle that played, not so well,as they carried you into the distance. [End Page 8]
Ted Kooser's most recent book of poems is Kindest Regards, Copper Canyon Press, 2018. His fourth children's book, Mr. Posey's New Glasses, was published by Candlewick Press in early 2019. He lives and writes in rural Nebraska.