Ted Kooser: American life in poetry Jan. 13, 2013

Ted Kooser: American life in poetry Jan. 13, 2013

Kansas is flat, and we all know that. So, where does a boy go when he feels like sledding down a hill? Casey Pycior, raised in Kansas, tells us.

Sledding in Wichita

As cars pass, laboring through the slush,

a boy, bundled against the stiff wind

in his snow suit, gloves, and scarf,

leans on his upright toboggan,

waiting his turn atop

the snow-packed overpass—

the highest point in town.

First one car exits, and then another,

each creeping down the icy ramp.

The brown grass pokes through

the two grooves carved in the short hill.

As the second car fishtails to a stop at the bottom,

brake lights glowing on the dirty snow,

the boy's turn comes.

His trip to the bottom is swift —

only a second or two —

and he bails out just before the curb.

It's not much, but it's sledding in Wichita.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It also is supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright 2011 by Pycior and reprinted by permission of the poet.


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