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A worm in an apple, a maggot in a bone, a person in the world. What might seem an odd assortment of creatures is beautifully interrelated by the Massachusetts poet Pat Schneider. Her poem suggests that each living thing is richly awake to its own particular, limited world.

There Is Another Way

There is another way to enter an apple:

a worm's way.

The small, round door

closes behind her. The world

and all its necessities

ripen around her like a room.

In the sweet marrow of a bone,

the maggot does not remember

the wingspread

of the mother, the green

shine of her body, nor even

the last breath of the dying deer.

I, too, have forgotten

how I came here, breathing

this sweet wind, drinking rain,

encased by the limits

of what I can imagine

and by a husk of stars.

 

Reprinted from Another River: New and Selected Poems, Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 2005, by permission of the author. First printed in Kalliope, Vol. XII, No. 1, 1989. Copyright 2004 by Pat Schneider. 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.

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