How Smokes the Smolder

By Todd Boss Todd Boss
at neck, at   
shoulder, that

stokes a man
as he grows

older. Nothing
rages, nothing

fumes. No one
races through

the rooms,   
alarmed. How

casually he's
armed. How   

gradually arises   
what surprises   

in his mirrors.
Unawares, as

fall runs colder,
pulls he only

slightly tighter
his good wool   

sweater, thinner   
than ever now

at elbow,   
at shoulder.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2007).

 Todd  Boss


Poet Todd Boss grew up on a cattle farm in Wisconsin, and was educated at St. Olaf College and the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he received an MFA. Boss’s pared-down, idea-driven poems are propelled by internal rhyme and balance clarity with a nuanced attention to sound. “I think of poems as pieces of music, or a work of architecture,” he told the Utne Reader in 2009. “The poem is a space that you’re inviting someone . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Growing Old, Time & Brevity, Nature, The Body

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Imagery, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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