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Bruce Dethlefsen


at the far recesses
of space and third grade
on earth’s shortest day
the astronauts shuffle out
into the moonscape playground
and seem to lift off
as snowflakes fall
rising up to the sky
bouncing weightless
against each other
dodging comets
ducking asteroids
independent of the mother ship
and mission control
in extra vehicular activity
boots kicking moon dust
mittens sifting starlight
bundled up and
bound to explore
free floating
the universe
at least until the bell rings

From A Decent Reed (Tamafyhr Mountain Press, 1998).
Used with the author’s permission.

Bruce Dethlefsen is the author of five books and was Wisconsin’s Poet Laureate from 2011-2012. He plays drums and harmonica in the Prairie Sands Band and runs Poet Camp twice a year. Bruce volunteers writing poetry in prisons and lives in Westfield, Wisconsin. Learn more about him at

Post New Comment:
Linda Lee (Konichek):
Whenever I see Bruce's name on a poem, I can't wait to experience it! His images are always perfect and take me right where he wants me to be...and beyond. He is a perfect choice for Wisconsin's new Poet Laureate and we are so lucky to have him.
Posted 12/21/2010 11:40 AM
Congratulations on the laureateship and on this poem, which captures so perfectly children's imaginative play.
Posted 12/21/2010 10:35 AM

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