The Sun Lifts This Veil

September 24, 2014

Photo courtesy Tim Mossholder

Introduction by Ted Kooser: I’m fond of poems about weather, and I especially like this poem by Todd Davis for the way it looks at how fog affects whatever is within and beneath it.


In this low place between mountains
fog settles with the dark of evening.
Every year it takes some of those
we love—a car full of teenagers
on the way home from a dance, or
a father on his way to the paper mill,
nightshift the only opening.
Each morning, up on the ridge,
the sun lifts this veil, sees what night
has accomplished. The water on our window-
screens disappears slowly, gradually,
like grief. The heat of the day carries water
from the river back up into the sky,
and where the fog is heaviest and stays
longest, you’ll see the lines it leaves
on trees, the flowers that grow
the fullest.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2007 by Todd Davis from his most recent book of poems, “The Least of These,” Michigan State University Press, 2010. Reprinted by permission of Todd Davis and the publisher. Poem first appeared in “Albatross,” No. 18, 2007. Introduction copyright © 2010 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

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  1. The picture matches the poem perfectly. It is true about more accidents due to fog, but I hadn't thought about it before (usually ice and snow is on my mind for that).

    I enjoyed the matter of fact way that Davis chose his words.

    Kathy M.

  2. Dear Kathy - lovely and yet haunting poem. As much as I love to see fog I certainly do not like to drive in it. Gorgeous picture too. Hope you are having a super day.

  3. Kathy--I thought it was an interesting poem. The beauty and the danger both.

  4. Debbie--I don't like driving in fog, either--though I think it's kind of beautiful and mysterious to look at. Hope you're having a a great day, too.