National Poetry Month: April 26th

April 26, 2013

Like a Manta Ray by James Tate

I can swim the length of the public pool
underwater. I like to swim right along the
bottom with my eyes open, and sometimes I find
things — a barrette, some change, a ring, a gold
chain, some plastic spacemen, a comb, nothing
too extraordinary. But this one day I was
swimming along and I spotted a pearl, and then
another and so on until I had both hands full
of pearls, real pearls. When I surfaced I
heard this darkly tanned, obviously wealthy woman
screaming at the pool attendant, “Someone has
stolen my pearls!” I quickly put the pearls inside
the netting of my swimming suit and climbed out
of the pool. I walked quickly toward the
dressing room, but then one pearl, then two, then
a third slipped out from my trunks and bounced
across the poolside toward a three-year-old boy
who had been listening to the lady with amusement.
He put his finger over his lips and smiled at me.
I had no use for the pearls and didn’t want them,
but somehow at that moment I didn’t want her
to have them anymore.

manta ray

This poem was selected by Russell J. (Readers’ Services)

Poetry Copyright Notice

National Poetry Month: April 5th

April 5, 2011

Happy As The Day Is Long by James Tate

I take the long walk up the staircase to my secret room.
Today’s big news: they found Amelia Earhart’s shoe, size 9.
1992: Charlie Christian is bebopping at Minton’s in 1941.
Today, the Presidential primaries have failed us once again.
We’ll look for our excitement elsewhere, in the last snow
that is falling, in tomorrow’s Gospel Concert in Springfield.
It’s a good day to be a cat and just sleep. Continue reading “National Poetry Month: April 5th”

Translate »