, May 29, 2022

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Pledge


  •   1 min read
Pledge
Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Intro by Ted Kooser

Jehanne Dubrow is the wife of a recent­ly retired naval offi­cer and has writ­ten very mov­ing poems about their life. This fine love poem is from an as-yet unpub­lished man­u­script. She lives in Texas and has, at quite a young age, already pub­lished eight col­lec­tions of poems. The newest, due out this year, is Sim­ple Machines, from Uni­ver­si­ty of Evans­ville Press.


By Jehanne Dubrow

Now we are here at home, in the little nation
of our marriage, swearing allegiance to the table
we set for lunch or the windchime on the porch,

its easy dissonance. Even in our shared country,
the afternoon allots its golden lines
so that we’re seated, both in shadow, on opposite

ends of a couch and two gray dogs between us.
There are acres of opinions in this house.
I make two cups of tea, two bowls of soup,

divide an apple equally. If I were a patriot,
I would call the blanket we spread across our bed
the only flag—some nights we’ve burned it

with our anger at each other. Some nights
we’ve welcomed the weight, a woolen scratch
on both our skins. My love, I am pledging

to this republic, for however long we stand,
I’ll watch with you the rain’s arrival in our yard.
We’ll lift our faces, together, toward the glistening.


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 ©2020 by Jehanne Dubrow, “Pledge.” (2020). Poem reprinted by permission of Jehanne Dubrow. Introduction copyright © 2022 by The Poetry Foundation.


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