Poetry Drop – Claudia Emerson
Some of your buddies might come around
for a couple of beers and a game,
but most evenings, you pitched horseshoes
alone. I washed up the dishes
or watered the garden to the thudding
sound of the horseshoe in the pit,
or the practiced ring of metal
against metal, after the silent
arc – end over end. That last
summer, you played a seamless, unscored
game against yourself. Or night
falling. Or coming in the house.
You were good at it. From the porch
I watched you become shadowless,
then featureless, until I knew
you couldn’t see either, and still
the dusk rang out, your aim that easy;
between the iron stakes you had driven
into the hard earth yourself, you paced
back and forth as if there were a decision
to make, and you were the one to make it.
Taken from Late Wife, a collection of poems for which Emerson won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 2007.