“After Us” by Connie Wanek
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
I don't know if we're in the beginning or in the final stage. -- Tomas Tranströmer Rain is falling through the roof. And all that prospered under the sun, the books that opened in the morning and closed at night, and all day turned their pages to the light; the sketches of boats and strong forearms and clever faces, and of fields and barns, and of a bowl of eggs, and lying across the piano the silver stick of a flute; everything invented and imagined, everything whispered and sung, all silenced by cold rain. The sky is the color of gravestones. The rain tastes like salt, and rises in the streets like a ruinous tide. We spoke of millions, of billions of years. We talked and talked. Then a drop of rain fell into the sound hole of the guitar, another onto the unmade bed. And after us, the rain will cease or it will go on falling, even upon itself.
from Poetry magazine
Volume CLXXVII, Number 3, January 2001
Copyright 2001 by The Modern Poetry Association.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Connie Wanek. Copyright 2001 by The Modern Poetry Association. For further permissions information, contact Connie Wanek, 1812 Lakeview Dr., Duluth, MN 55803. or Poetry, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Poet
Connie Wanek (1952- ) is the author of two poetry collections, including On Speaking Terms (Copper Canyon Press, 2010). Wanek was born in Madison, Wisconsin and lived on a farm outside Green Bay and in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She was educated at New Mexico State University.
Learn more about Connie Wanek at The Poetry Foundation.