Windchime

By Tony Hoagland b. 1953 Tony Hoagland
She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

“Windchime” copyright © 2003 by Tony Hoagland. Reprinted from What Narcissism Means to Me with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. All rights reserved. www.graywolfpress.org

Source: What Narcissism Means to Me (Graywolf Press, 2003)

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Poet Tony Hoagland b. 1953

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Living, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

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 Tony  Hoagland

Biography

Tony Hoagland was born in 1953 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He earned a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Hoagland’s poetry is known for its acerbic, witty take on contemporary life and “straight talk,” in the words of New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner, who continued: “At his frequent best … Mr. Hoagland is demonically in touch with the American demotic.” Hoagland’s books of poetry . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Living, Love, Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Men & Women, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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