Identification

Philip Booth Click to read more...

boothPhilip Booth (1925-2007) was born in New Hampshire, served in the U S Air Force in WWII and spent much of his professional life teaching writing at Syracuse University. His many awards include two Guggenheims and two NEA Fellowships, and his last book was the much-heralded Lifelines: Selected Poems, 1950-1999 (Viking).¬† “Identification‚ÄĚ originally appeared in Shenandoah 47/1

Morning routine at my desk.

Close to noon, a half-inch
insect, to me looking female,

starts up the high inside pane
of the northeast window. Three

light yellow legs angle out
each side of her body; white wings

stay folded. Now she tries flight
for two inches; her dark feelers

signal to stop. I stand up
to figure her arrowhead head,

bright red; then two black bars,
a miniscule equal-sign, athwart

the aft-end of her abdomen. Given
another state, under another sky,

a native trout might well rise
to feed on such finite grace.

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