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After Years

Today, from a distance, I saw you
walking away, and without a sound
the glittering face of a glacier
slid into the sea. An ancient oak
fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
a handful of leaves, and an old woman
scattering corn to her chickens looked up
for an instant. At the other side
of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
the size of our own sun exploded
and vanished, leaving a small green spot
on the astronomer's retina
as he stood on the great open dome
of my heart with no one to tell.

—Ted Kooser

from Solo: A Journal of Poetry,
Premiere Issue, Spring 1996.

Copyright 1996 by Ted Kooser.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Ted Kooser from Solo: A Journal of Poetry. Copyright 1996 by Ted Kooser. For further permissions information, contact Solo Press - Glenna Luschei, 5146 Foothill Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Ted Kooser (1939- ) served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 to 2006. He is the author of twelve poetry collections, including Splitting an Order (Copper Canyon Press, 2014).

Learn more about Ted Kooser.