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Wesley McNair

Wesley McNair

Wesley McNair has recently published a collection of poems titled The Lost Child: Ozark Poems, and a memoir, The Words I Chose. A recent recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship for his creative work, he has twice been invited to read his poetry by the Library of Congress.

Telephone Poles

Like our cars, which have our faces,
and our houses, which look down
on us under their folded hats,

these resemble us, though nothing
we have made seems so sad.
Exiled to the roadside,

lacking heads or arms, they stand
in all weather, ignored except
for the rows of swallows

that remember them in springtime,
and the occasional tree holding up
a hole workmen have cut

to let the lines through. Yet they go on
balancing cables on their shoulders
and passing them to the next

and the next, this one extending a wire
to a farmhouse, that one at the corner
sending lines four ways at once,

until miles away where the road widens,
and the tallest poles rise, bearing
streetlamps high above

the doors of the town, arriving by going
nowhere at all, each, like the others
that brought them here,

making its way by accepting what's
given, and holding on,
and standing still.


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