Sydney Lea

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Sydney Lea is an American poet, novelist, essayist, editor, and professor, and is the Poet Laureate of Vermont. His most recent book is A Little Wildness: Some Notes on Rambling (Storyline Press, 2006), and he has a ninth collection of poetry, Young of the Year, now out from Four Way Books. He has taught for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College, and at Yale ... more »

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Best Poem of Sydney Lea


A grotesquerie for so long we all ignored it:
The mammoth plastic Santa lighting up
On the Quik-Stop's roof, presiding over pumps
That gleamed and gushed in the tarmac lot below it.

Out back, with pumps of their own, the muttering diesels.
And we, for the most part ordinary folks,
Took all for granted: the idling semis' smoke,
The fuel that streamed into our tanks, above all

Our livelihoods. We stepped indoors to talk
With friends, shared coffee, read the local paper,
Heavy with news of hard times now. We shiver.
Our afternoons are gone. At five ...

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