Speech Therapy

By Dean Young b. 1955 Dean Young
The ugly duckling remained ugly
its whole life but found others
as ugly as itself, I guess that’s the message.
Smoke rises from the heads in the backyard.
Do you think if I hang around here long enough
someone will proffer a muffin,
one skulking shadow to another?
Soon, my shoes will be part of the populous dirt.
Have I learned all the wrong lessons,
the ones you shouldn’t know until
the last dew-clogged lawn is mowed
and the sun goes down on the ruined battlements?
Why was I given a toy train if not
to stage stupendous wrecks? Sure,
I can walk by the sea holding a hand
with as much melancholy as the next fellow,
substituting the cries of slammed waves
for the droll adumbrations of distraught
skeletons, the day taking on the sheen
of a stone removed from the mouth
and skipped between the breakers jubilant and sunk.

Source: Poetry (October 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2010
 Dean  Young


Poet Dean Young was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, and received his MFA from Indiana University. Recognized as one of the most energetic, influential poets writing today, his numerous collections of poetry include Strike Anywhere (1995), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry; Skid (2002), finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Primitive Mentor (2008), . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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