American Life in Poetry: Column 208
by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006
To have a helpful companion as you travel through life is a marvelous gift. This poem by Gerald Fleming, a long-time teacher in the San Francisco public schools, celebrates just such a relationship.
You're worried, so you wake her
& you talk into the dark:
Do you think I have cancer, you
say, or Were there worms
in that meat, or Do you think
our son is OK, and it's
ceremonial as you feel
the vessel of your worry pass
miraculously from you to her—
Gee, the rain sounds so beautiful,
you say—I'm going back to sleep.