The Baltimore Sun

One of the ways a poet makes art from his or her experience is through the use of unique, specific and particular detail. This poem by Rick Snyder thrives on such details. It's not just baseball caps, it's Tasmanian Devil caps; it's not just music on the intercom, it's James Taylor. And Snyder's poem also caught my interest with the humor of its flat, sardonic tone.

- Ted Kooser

"How are you Doing?"

As much as you deserve it,

I wouldn't wish this

Sunday night on you -

not the Osco at closing,

not its two tired women

and shaky security guard,

not its bin of flip-flops

and Tasmanian Devil

baseball caps,

not its freshly mopped floors

and fluorescent lights,

not its endless James Taylor

song on the intercom,

and not its last pint of

chocolate mint ice cream,

which I carried

down Milwaukee Ave.

past a man in an unbuttoned

baseball shirt, who stepped

out of a shadow to whisper,

How are you doing?

Ted Kooser was U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06. Copyright 2005 by Rick Snyder. Reprinted from ?Barrow Street,? Winter 2005, by permission of the author. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

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