A Small Moment

By Cornelius Eady b. 1954 Cornelius Eady
I walk into the bakery next door   
To my apartment. They are about   
To pull some sort of toast with cheese   
From the oven.   When I ask:   
What’s that smell? I am being   
A poet, I am asking   

What everyone else in the shop   
Wanted to ask, but somehow couldn’t;   
I am speaking on behalf of two other   
Customers who wanted to buy the   
Name of it.   I ask the woman   
Behind the counter for a percentage   
Of her sale. Am I flirting?   
Am I happy because the days   
Are longer?   Here’s what   

She does: She takes her time   
Choosing the slices.   “I am picking   
Out the good ones,” she tells me.   It’s   
April 14th.. Spring, with five to ten   
Degrees to go.   Some days, I feel my duty;   
Some days, I love my work.

Poem copyright ©1997 by Cornelius Eady, from his most recent book of poetry, “Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems,” A Marian Wood Book, Putnam, 2008. Reprinted by permission of Cornelius Eady.

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Poet Cornelius Eady b. 1954

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Men & Women, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Cornelius  Eady

Biography

Poet and cofounder of Cave Canem, Cornelius Eady has published more than half a dozen volumes of poetry, among them Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name (1991), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Brutal Imagination (2001), a National Book Award finalist. Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems appeared in 2008.

Brutal . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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