Time passed. I gained elegance
And lost force. Fears surfaced: scorched
Linen underneath the chafing wish.
The world goes shiny, ironed. Gone in a glance.
Meanwhile, the whole day proved discouraging,
Like cherries—were they cherries?—in an orange dish.
Richard Kenney has published four books of poetry: The Evolution of the Flightless Bird (Yale University Press, 1984), Orrery (Atheneum, 1985), The Invention of the Zero (Knopf, 1993) and The One-Strand River (Knopf, 2008). His work has appeared in many magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, AGNI, and The American Scholar, and he has won the Rome Prize in Literature, a Lannan Literary Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He teaches at the University of Washington, in Seattle. (updated 10/2008)