Received it with a kind of wonder, and kept it on our lips through the afternoon


Some of us were arriving, hungry
impatient, while others had eaten
and were leaving, bidding goodbye
to our friends, and among us
stood a pretty woman, blind,
her perfect fingers interwoven
about the top of her cane,
and she was bending forward,
open eyed, to find the knotted lips
of a man whose disfigured face
had been assembled out of scars
and who was leaving, hurrying off,
and though their kiss was brief
and askew and awkwardly pursed,
we all received it with a kind of
wonder, and kept it on our lips
through the afternoon.

~ Ted Kooser, “At Arby’s, At Noon“. Splitting an Order (Cooper Canyon Press, 2014)

Mr. Awesomeness aka Ted Kooser.  In less than 100 words, he puts you at the scene at Arby’s and makes you feel. 

Image Source: TheSensualStarfish


  1. Truly ‘Mr. Awesomeness’.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Absolutely lyric.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Absolutely” everything. He included this poem on the back of the book cover of his new book. It so captures his work for me. A plain speaking but magic-man with words writing at dawn:

      Not a flock of stories,
      not usually,
      but a few that arrive at dusk
      in pairs, quietly
      creating themselves
      in the featherly light.
      And rarely with fancy plumage
      of blue or green or red
      but plain, as of clay or wood,
      with a plain little song.
      Theirs are the open wings
      we light our table by.

      ~ Ted Kooser, “At a Kitchen Table”. Splitting an Order (Cooper Canyon Press, 2014)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wouldn’t it be grand to sit down and share a cup of coffee and a few observations with this fellow? I am enthralled by his ease with language and the ways in which he (seemingly) effortlessly paints a word picture that compels us to stand, stock still, and marvel….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One word comes to mind when I read his poems, presence.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. power in every word –

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Savoring the beauty of that exchange…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m new, and so thankful! Your post/blog/repost – the opening ‘thread’, beginning stitch……… Naomi Shihab Nye, putting me at ‘the gates of hope’, Words and Pictures, poetry, and murmurations, Ted Kooser ……………………… lol……. beyond feeling blessed with a bounty of enriching moments tonight. Thank You, David Kanigan, Thank You!


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