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Print Poetry August 31, 1997
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Ted Kooser
Weather Central
1994

Kooser lives in Nebraska, teaches at the state university, and works as an insurance executive.

The Back Door

The door through which we step out
into the past is an easy push,
light as the air, a green screen door
with a sagging spring. There's a hook
to unhook first, for there have been
incidents: someone has come up
out of the past to steal something good
from the present. We know who they are.
We have tried to discourage them
by moving from house to house,
from city to city, but they find us
again and again. You see them coming
sometimes from a long ways off--
a pretty young woman, a handsome man,
stepping in through the back garden gate,
pausing to pick the few roses.

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