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Jane Kenyon


History: Hamden, Connecticut

The sweet breath of someone's laundry spews from a drier vent. A screen door slams. "Carry it?"—a woman's voice— "You're going to carry it!?" Now I hear the sound of castors on the sidewalk. Car doors close softly, engines turn over and catch. A [...]


The dog has cleaned his bowl and his reward is a biscuit, which I put in his mouth like a priest offering the host. I can't tear that trusting face! He asks for bread, expects bread, and in my power I might have given him stone. [...]

In the Grove

She lay on her back in the timothy and gazed past the doddering auburn heads of sumac. A cloud—huge, dignified, and calm—covered the sun but did not, could not, put it out. The light surged back again. . . . Nothing could turn her then from t [...]


At the grocery store on a rainy July day I pull in beside a family wagon with Connecticut plates but no luggage— summer people then, up for bright days and cool nights, and local church fairs. They may have been coming here for years.Three little b [...]

Catching Frogs

I crouched beside the deepest pool, and the smell of damp and moss rose rich between my knees. Water-striders creased the silver-black silky surface. Rapt, I hardly breathed. Gnats roiled in a shaft of sun. Back again after supper I'd see a nose poke [...]

Main Street: Tilton, New Hampshire

I waited in the car while he went into the small old-fashioned grocery for a wedge of cheddar. Late summer, Friday afternoon. A mother and child walked past trading mock blows with paper bags full of—what— maybe new clothes for school. They turne [...]

Ice Storm

For the hemlocks and broad-leafed evergreens a beautiful but precarious state of being. . . . Here in the suburbs of New Haven nature, unrestrained, lops the weaker limbs of shrubs and trees with a sense of aesthetics that is practical and sinist [...]

April Walk

Evening came, and work was done. We went for a walk to see what winter had exacted from our swimming place on the pond. The moss was immoderately green, and spongy underfoot; stepping on it seemed a breach of etiquette. We found our picnic table sitt [...]

This Morning

The barn bears the weight of the first heavy snow without complaint. White breath of cows rises in the tie-up, a man wearing a frayed winter jacket reaches for his milking stool in the dark. The cows have gone into the ground, and the man, his wife [...]