A Poem Borrowed Without Permission

Every once in a while I think I’ll just get rid of all my unread New Yorkers; recycle them all in a big slippery pile in a brown paper bag, and then, and then I sit down and read one. And inevitably, I haul that brown paper bag back up to my room and swear that I’ll only read the cartoons or the poems or just the fiction…

February 11 & 18, 2008’s New Yorker gave me a cartoon with which to make my brother a thank-you card, an article to pass on to a friend, an essay that made me laugh out loud, a quote for my sidebar, and this poem:

A Measuring Worm by Richard Wilbur

This yellow striped green

Caterpillar, climbing up

The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack

Of a full set of legs) keeps

Humping up his back.

It’s as if he sent

By a sort of semaphore

Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.

Although he doesn’t know it,

He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don’t know

Toward what undreamt condition

Inch by inch I go.

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