White Ash Goes Up at a Touch

By Todd Boss Todd Boss
while the black oak

takes coaxing.   
That popping and

whistling? Yellow   
birch and red pine.   

might for now define,   

but soon the whole   
church is chanting

at the same time,   
flame splashing   

bright from the dirty   
bucket of the earthly,   

roaring likeness
and only likeness

into the bottomless   
cool of the night . . .

Source: Poetry (December 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

December 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, Time & Brevity, Religion, Faith & Doubt

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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