Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Willem Kusserow-Lair: The Cycle

The grass licking the edge of the road was almost dead,

it tasted the dust of the road and crunched on its small rocks.

The smog of the dirt hung like grief in the air, in other words,

useful to no one. A rough worn hand in a dirty pocket 

was more useful than the grief in the air.

For that is what was happening. A hand in the pocket of a man

whose lungs were lined with the dust, his feet and shovel kicked up.

Don’t let anyone tell you anything is separate in this world.

The grief caused him to walk, the walk caused the dust, the dust choked,

and spied on the depravity of its creator.

That man whose hand belonged in his pocket had just dug

a large cavernous grave for his horse, one that served him dearly.

Its black coat once was a shine, a gleam, a piece of pride.

The man could still smell the musk of the leather saddle,

horse sweat, stench of its death.

More than the shovel that dug the grave,

his hands held calluses of his whole life of hard work, 

each like a cherry pit in its hardness and sweet affirmation.

More than the carcass of the horse, 

the grave swallowed the man’s tiredness,

his longing, his lonely ache,

it gulped and gulped his crippling grief.

all were taken by the mouth of the grave and its blackened dirt,

the dirt which turned into the dust that choked 

the man as he dug and dug and dug.


Willem Kusserow-Lair is a high school student at The Putney School.

Copyright 2021 Willem Kusserow-Lair

The Green Man by Willem Kusserow-Lair

2 comments on “Willem Kusserow-Lair: The Cycle

  1. rosemaryboehm
    January 26, 2021

    This is some powerful stuff. Barbara Huntington, I agree with every word you said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Huntington
    January 26, 2021

    I sat in my meditation chair after meditation and scrolled and read this poem. Then I saw the author was young and I thought of all the foolish discussion on Facebook about the need for poets to have experienced life and the old poets’ easy dismissal of Amanda Gorman and I am glad to see how easily this poets crushes their complaining.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2021 by in Art and Cinema, Poetry and tagged , .

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