William Kloefkorn

I am ready now to admit

From Swallowing the Soap: New and Selected Poems by William Kloefkorn Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010.

I am ready now to admit
That I failed at everything
Except perhaps at one quick span
Of crisis, when I said yes
To my dying father and
To his only piece of acreage.
Gifts are not easy to accept,
Not when they nudge you to
The sudden wall of your stubbornness.
But at thirty I lay awake, alone,
Dreaming growth. I had failed
At everything, but when
I touched the land again
And heard my father’s voice
I saw but one image:
Not the pondless pasture
Or the unpainted house
Or even the rock,
But a single seed.
I said, Yes..

Reproduced from Swallowing the Soap: New and Selected Poems by William Kloefkorn, edited and with an introduction by Ted Genoways, by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 2010 by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.