Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

A Wife Explains Why She Likes Country by Barbara Ras

Because those cows in the bottomland are black and white, colors
anyone can understand, even against the green
of the grass, where they glide like yes and no, nothing in between,
because in the country, heartache has nowhere to hide,
it's the Church of Abundant Life, the Alamo,
the hubbub of the hoi polloi, the parallel lines of rail fences,
because I like rodeos more than I like golf,
because there's something about the sound of mealworms and
leeches and the dream of a double-wide
that reminds me this is America, because of the simple pleasure
of a last chance, because sometimes whiskey
tastes better than wine, because hauling hogs on the road
is as good as it gets when the big bodies are layered like pigs in 
a cake, not one layer but two, because only country has a gun with a full choke and a slide guitar that melts playing it cool into sweaty surrender in one note, because in country you can smoke forever and it'll never kill you, because roadbeds, flatbeds, your bed or mine, because the package store is right across from the chicken plant and it sells boiled peanuts, because I'm fixin' to wear boots to
the dance and make my hair bigger, because no smarty-pants, just easy rhymes, perfect love, because I'm lost deep within myself and the sad songs
call me out, because even you with your superior aesthetic cried when Tammy Wynette died, because my people come from dirt. ~ from One Hidden Stuff (Penguin Poets 2006)


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