Mark Doty: good touch for a poet (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Tina Tiller)
Mark Doty: good touch for a poet (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Tina Tiller)

BooksAugust 5, 2022

The Friday Poem: ‘Mark Doty: a footnote’ by Elizabeth Smither

Mark Doty: good touch for a poet (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Tina Tiller)
Mark Doty: good touch for a poet (Photo: Getty Images / Design: Tina Tiller)

A new poem by Elizabeth Smither.

Mark Doty: a footnote

Walking between venues in Aldeburgh
to attend the next reading or panel
a boy kicks a football in Mark Doty’s path.

Just a poet walking, one of those
removed from the world, a floater
but look he has scooped up the ball

on the curve of his foot, cradles it
like a bird fallen from a tree
rolls it up to chest height

then over his shoulder, his other foot
hooks to kick it back to
the astonished boys. A poet

who could play for Chelsea or Real Madrid
earn a fee greater than any poem
but greatest of all the way

he keeps on chatting to the other poets
his head lowered, as modestly
he sets the world back in place.

 

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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