Weekly Poem: ‘Salvage’


By Kay Ryan

The wreck
is a fact.
The worst
has happened.
The salvage trucks
back in and
the salvage men
begin to sort
and stack,
whistling as
they work.
Thanks be
to God—again—
for extractable elements
which are not
carriers of pain,
for this periodic
table at which
the self-taught
salvagers disassemble
the unthinkable
to the unthought.

Poet Laureate Kay Ryan recently sat down with Jeffrey Brown to talk about her work and her role as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. That conversation will be posted here soon. Much more about Ryan can be found in our Poetry Series.