Still as fence posts they wait


In fair weather,
the shy past keeps its distance.
Old loves, old regrets, old humiliations
look on from afar.
They stand back under the trees.
No one would think
to look for them there.

But in the fog they come closer.
You can feel them there
by the road as you slowly walk past.
Still as fence posts they wait,
dark and reproachful,
each stepping forward in turn.

~ Ted Kooser. February 16. An early morning fog.

Preface of Ted Kooser’s “Winter Morning Walks: One hundred postcards to Jim Harrison“:

In the autumn of 1998, during my recovery from surgery and radiation for cancer, I began taking a two-mile walk each morning. I’d been told by my radiation oncologist to stay out of the sun for a year because of skin sensitivity, so I exercised before dawn, hiking the isolated country roads near where I live, sometimes with my wife but most often alone.

During the previous summer, depressed by my illness, preoccupied by the routines of my treatment, and feeling miserably sorry for myself, I’d all but given up on reading and writing. Then, as autumn began to fade and winter came on, my health began to improve. One morning in November, following my walk, I surprised myself by trying my hand at a poem. Soon I was writing everyday.



  1. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ever vigilant. ever watching.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant and beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s it–have GOT to read this book….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such imagery. I’m so glad he became inspired to write again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s an inspiring recollection of the time of transition. I’m especially fond of the poem from the perspective of my avocation, writing. I’m pleased with the bio from my perspective as a healthcare professional. The bottom line Ted, is that it’s all about you and your decision to thrive. Thanks for sharing both perspectives. Sincerely Moonstruck


  7. Depressing poem, but well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad to have stumbled on this blog! I am so enjoying what you share. Thank you! Namaste.


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