I had the opportunity of meeting Ted Kooser some years ago. At the time, he was serving as Poet Laureate of the United States; I was just a college student taking a creative writing boot camp at University of Texas Pan American (which has since become the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley).
I chose this one for today’s poem because it reminds me of the phone calls I had to make the day my father passed away. Excluding the nurses and orderlies, I was the first one inside his room after he died. I remember the feeling that boiled up inside me. The noiselessness of a room that was filled with sound the night before. In the guest dining area, I fumbled with my phone trying to call my older brother who had power of attorney. And I called my aunt, my father’s sister, to tell her the news.
When I listened to Ted Kooser recite his poem all those years ago, I never imagined having to be the one who had to break the news of a parent’s passing. It’s not something that comes easy or lightly.
So for today’s poem, I have chosen “Pearl” by Ted Kooser. Please enjoy.