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Boulder

Today’s poem is “Boulder” by Sidney Wade. Her eighth collection of poems, Deep Gossip: New & Selected Poems, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2020. She taught workshops in Poetry and Translation at the University of Florida’s MFA@FLA program for 23 years, and she has served as President of AWP and Secretary/Treasurer of ALTA. Sidney served as poetry editor for the literary journal Subtropics for many years, and her poems and translations have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Poetry, The New Yorker, Grand Street, The Paris Review, as well as many other literary publications.  She spends part of each year in Rangeley, Maine.
She writes, “It all happened just as reported in the poem. And let's see, the process--I was in the middle of learning how to write long, very skinny poems, with two or three words in each line. What I found that did to my writing process was it made me listen MUCH more carefully to each word in every short line. I liked paying that particular kind of attention so much I kept at it for many years.”

Boulder
by Sidney Wade

this world
is full

of beautiful
surprises

here’s one:
one bright

blue noon
on Loon

Lake I sat
on the porch

eating lunch
and watched

a chipmunk
on the compost

pile nibble
a strand

of spaghetti
until he’d

consumed
it all and then

I heard
a tremendous

fluster
in the lake

a moose
had quietly

been munching
on underwater

plants—fine 
delicacies

to northern
ruminant types

and what 
I had taken

to be a boulder
turned out

to have been 
her shoulder

as her submerged
mouth hoovered

up all the juicy
stems of my water

lilies until
her hungry

lungs ached
for air

and she reared
her head

in a great
splendor

of bright water
a sloshing

slurping
slurry

of mud
and stems

profuse and
dripping

from her
streaming

maw as she
observed

me coolly
before 

heading down 
for more

“Boulder” by Sidney Wade. Reprinted from Deep Gossip: New and Selected Poems (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020) by permission of the author.