See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Art Bar 

What a marvelous gift is the imagination, and each of us gets one at birth, free of charge and ready to start up, get on and ride away. Can there be anything quite so homely and ordinary as a steam radiator? And yet, here, Connie Wanek, of Duluth, Minn., nudges one into play.

Radiator

Mittens are drying on the radiator,

boots nearby, one on its side.

Like some monstrous segmented insect

the radiator elongates under the window.

Or it is a beast with many shoulders

domesticated in the Ice Age.

How many years it takes

to move from room to room!

Some cage their radiators

but this is unnecessary

as they have little desire to escape.

Like turtles they are quite self-contained.

If they seem sad, it is only the same sadness we all feel, unlovely, growing slowly cold.

 

Reprinted from Bonfire, New Rivers Press, 1997, by permission of the author. Copyright 1997 by Connie Wanek. Her most recent book is Hartley Field, from Holy Cow! Press. This weekly column is supported by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit