Wisconsinite’s Poem Reaches National Audience

 

 

Wisconsin poet Karla Huston’s poem “Sway” is featured on the website American Life in Poetry with introduction by 2004-2006 U. S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. The link to the poem is http://www.americanlifeinpoetry.org/columns/470.html. Pasted in below is Karla’s poem and Ted’s intro.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Considering that I’m a dog lover, I haven’t included nearly enough dog poems in this column. My own dog, Howard, now in his dotage, has never learned a trick of any kind, nor learned to behave, so I admire Karla Huston for having the patience to teach her dog something. Huston lives in Wisconsin.

Sway 

The cruelest thing I did to my dog
wasn’t to ignore his barking for water
when his tongue hung like a deflated balloon
or to disregard his chronic need for a belly rub
but to teach him to shake hands,
a trick that took weeks of treats, his dark eyes
like Greek olives, moist with desire.
I made him sit, another injustice,
and allowed him to want the nuggets enough
to please me. Shake, I said. Shake?
touching the back of his right leg
until he lifted it, his saliva trickling
from soft jowls, my hand wet with his hunger.
Mistress of the biscuit, I ruffled his ears
and said good dog until he got it. Before long,
he raised his paw, shook me until he got
the treat, the rub, the water in a chilled silver bowl,
the wilderness in him gone, his eyes still lit with longing.
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 ©2013 by Karla Huston from her most recent book of poems, A Theory of Lipstick, Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Karla Huston and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 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. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about Karla at http://www.wiswriters.org/huston.htm. Read about the Council for Wisconsin Writers and other board members at http://www.wiswriters.org

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, poets, writers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s