Sunday Poem: Field Guide

Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in that most precious element of all,

I found the pale gray curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water

at the very instant when a dragonfly’
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin

hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
That’s all.

I mentioned this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page

in certain library books,
so that the next reader will know

where to look for the good parts.

by Tony Hoagland

—in the words of New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner:
“At his frequent best … Hoagland is demonically in touch
with the American demotic.”