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Poem Number 051

Look what this poet does
with the alphabet.

A Primer of the Daily Round

Howard Nemerov

A peels an apple, while B kneels to God,
C telephones to D, who has a hand
On E's knee, F coughs, G turns up the sod
For H's grave, I do not understand
But J is bringing one clay pigeon down
While K brings down a nightstick on L's head,
And M takes mustard, N drives into town,
O goes to bed with P, and Q drops dead,
R lies to S, but happens to be heard
By T, who tells U not to fire V
For having to give W the word
That X is now deceiving Y with Z,
    Who happens just now to remember A
    Peeling an apple somewhere far away.

 

from New and Selected Poems
University of Chicago Press, 1960

Copyright 1960 by Howard Nemerov.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).