, May 24, 2024

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Bowling in Heaven

  •   1 min read
Bowling in Heaven
Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

Intro by Ted Kooser

Here’s a love­ly poem that imag­ines the after­life by Emi­ly Rans­dell, who divides her time between Wash­ing­ton and the Ore­gon coast. This poem appeared first in The Cort­land Review.

By Emily Ransdell

Like newlyweds,
my parents slip out of their clothes.
He puts aside the sweater I chose
for him, she undoes her pearls.
They rise up from their old ailments,
their fears of falling, broken hips
and other bad news.
                     Now they dance
barefoot in their living room,
go bowling on a whim.
They garden all day without pain,
calling out like songbirds,
          come see the hollyhocks,
          they have grown so tall!
                    Nights, they lie down
like dolls and their sleepless eyes
glide closed. They seem so eager
for morning, I pray they will find each other
                      again and again.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2016 by Emily Ransdell, “Bowling in Heaven,” from The Cortland Review, (Issue 69, 2016). Poem reprinted by permission of Emily Ransdell and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2023 by The Poetry Foundation.

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