local_library What It Was Like Before Dark

by Robert Dana

Published in Issue No. 122 ~ July, 2007
Rain-light and rain.

Late afternoon.

And just beyond my kitchen window,

two young deer the color of fallen leaves

pass slowly through the green and yellow paisleyed air.

Big ears flicking. Pausing. Turning to look at one another.

They’ve come to graze

my neighbor’s last frost-sweetened windfalls.

Golden Delicious.

Dozens a-bubble in the clipped grass.

I grow older as I watch them.

Count the apples.

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Robert Dana, currently Poet Laureate for the state of Iowa, has published 10 collections of poetry, including his most recent The Morning of the Red Admirals (Anhinga Press, 2004). His previous poetry collections include tarting Out for the Difficult World (Harper & Row, 1987), which was short listed for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize; Yes, Everything (Another Chicago Press, 1994); Hello, Stranger: Beach Poems (Anhinga Press, 1996); and Summer (Anhinga Press, 2000). Dana was also the editor of Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers (University of Iowa Press, 1986) and A Community of Writers: Paul Engle and the Iowa Writers' Workshop (University of Iowa Press, 1999).