Weekly Poem: ‘From Here to There’

BY Tom LeGro  December 14, 2009 at 11:15 AM EDT

By Brad Leithauser

There are those great winds on a tear
Over the Great Plains,
Bending the grasses all the way
Down to the roots
And the grasses revealing
A gracefulness in the wind’s fury
You would not otherwise
Have suspected there.

And there’s the wind off the sea
Roiling the thin crowns of the great
Douglas firs on the cragged
Oregon coast, uprooting
Choruses of outraged cries,
As if the trees were unused
To bending, that can weather
Such storms for a century.

And—somewhere between those places,
Needing a break—we climb out stiff
From our endless drive to stand, dwindled,
On a ridge, holding hands,
In what are foothills only because
The neighboring mountains are
So much taller, and there are the breezes,
Contrarily pulled, awakening our faces.

 

Brad LeithauserPoet and novelist Brad Leithauser is the author of several books of poetry, including most recently, “Curves and Angles” (2006). He is also co-author of a book of light verse, “Lettered Creatures,” a collaboration with his brother, artist Mark Leithauser. He has received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship, and teaches at Johns Hopkins University. He is married to the poet Mary Jo Salter. Click here for a NewsHour piece about the couple.