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American Life in Poetry: ‘Weren’t We Beautiful’ by Marge Saiser

By Ted Kooser U.S. poet laureate, 2004-06

Marge Saiser, who lives in Nebraska, is a fine and a very lucky poet. With the passing of each year her poems have gotten stronger and deeper. That’s an enviable direction for a writer. This poem was published in The Briar Cliff Review and it looks back wisely and wistfully over a rich life. Saiser’s most recent book is “The Woman in the Moon” from the Backwaters Press.

Weren’t We Beautiful

growing into ourselves

earnest and funny we were

angels of some kind, smiling visitors

the light we lived in was gorgeous

we looked up and into the camera

the ordinary things we did with our hands

or how we turned and walked

or looked back we lifted the child

spooned food into his mouth

the camera held it, stayed it

there we are in our lives as if

we had all time

as if we would stand in that room

and wear that shirt those glasses

as if that light

without end

would shine on us

and from us.

Poem copyright 2018 by Marjorie Saiser, “Weren’t We Beautiful,” from The Briar Cliff Review, (Vol. 30, 2018). Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited submissions.

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