Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

5. We Read

At the Olpe Chicken House behind glass there’s a copy

of Ken Ohm’s new book Ducks Across the Moon.

An old woman and her husband cane their way

to the counter, pay with cash, the bills

old and crumbled and green, and ask about the book.

The kid behind the counter, who looks like the town

quarterback, says, “I didn’t write it,” annoyed,

“Heck, I don’t know.” And the old couple walks on,

go home, along the way mentioning books they do

know, and love, and read, and then slump in peace, sleep

on their La-Z-Boys, the tv snow, the books

held in their laps, the reading lamps still on.

– Kevin Rabas

Kevin Rabas co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State University. He has two books of poems, Bird’s Horn–and Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner.

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Comments on: "5. We Read" (2)

  1. I love the kid that looks like “the town quarterback” saying “‘I didn’t write it,’ annoyed” and then the ending.

    Thanks, Kevin. That’s a sweet moment of a poem there.

  2. Thanks, Kevin. I wonder how many times the same scene was played….although discouraging to me, it is still very descriptive.

    Ken Ohm

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