December 03, 2014

Photo courtesy jhusemannde

Introduction by Ted Kooser: I love poems with sudden surprises, and here’s one by Jennifer Gray, a Nebraskan. Will you ever see depressions puddled with rain without thinking of the image at her conclusion?


The neighbor’s horses idle
under the roof
of their three-sided shelter,
looking out at the rain.

one or another
will fade into the shadows
in the corner, maybe
to eat, or drink.

Still, the others stand,
blowing out their warm
breaths. Rain rattles
on the metal roof.

Their hoof prints
in the corral
open gray eyes to the sky,
and wink each time
another drop falls in.

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 ©2013 by Jennifer Gray. Reprinted by permission of Jennifer Gray. Introduction copyright © 2014 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. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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  1. This is a lovely poem Kathy. Never thought about puddles quite that way. Hope you are having a great week.

  2. Debbie--I love the winking image. I will definitely see that in puddles from now on.

  3. I like this one too. I remember thinking of you when I read it in my email.

  4. Cheryl--It would be hard not to think of me when you read this, what with the horses in it...