American Life in Poetry: Column 630

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BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

I’m celebrating my 78th birthday by publishing one of my own poems. When an old guy like me is still writing poetry, he tends to write a lot of old-guy poems.

Look for Me

Look for me under the hood
of that old Chevrolet settled in weeds
at the end of the pasture.

I’m the radiator that spent its years
bolted in front of an engine
shoving me forward into the wind.

Whatever was in me in those days
has mostly leaked away,
but my cap’s still screwed on tight

and I know the names of all these
tattered moths and broken grasshoppers
the rest of you’ve forgotten.


We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2017 by Ted Kooser, “Look for Me.” Poem reprinted by permission of Ted Kooser. 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.

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