For children, from The Best American Poetry 1997, guest editor James Tate, series editor David Lehman.
from Her Body / by Daniel Halpern
the smallest finger poking the air, pointing toward the first heat
of the single sun, pointing toward the friendly angels
who sent her, letting them know contact’s made.
For James Tate who died last night. Audio and visual of the complete poem, a fragment of his life, below. Will miss your live voice out and about in this world.
Of Whom Am I Afraid / by James Tate (1943–2015)
Twenty-three years today since our father had his gun salute and American-flag folding. He was not a pilot, but he was a B-52 navigator.
from The Lost Pilot / by James Tate
and you, passing over again,
fast, perfect, and unwilling
to tell me that you are doing
Sort of like a GPS, only minutely different.
from Conjuring Roethke / by James Tate
I wish you were here.
The calendar is red,
a candle closes
If this is the life
we are all leaving
it’s half as bad.
Hello again mad turnip.
Let’s tango together
down to the clear