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American Life in Poetry: 'This Morning I Could Do A Thousand Things'

I was born in April and have never agreed with T.S. Eliot that it is “the cruellest month.” Why would I want to have been born from that? Here’s Robert Hedin, who lives in Minnesota, showing us what April can be like once Eliot is swept aside.

This Morning I Could Do A Thousand Things

I could fix the leaky pipe

Under the sink, or wander


And bother Jerry who’s lost

In the bog of his crankcase.

I could drive the half-mile


To the local mall and browse

Through the bright stables

Of mowers, or maybe catch

The power-walkers puffing


On their last laps. I could


The garage, weed the


Or get out the shears and

Prune the rose bushes back.

Yes, a thousand things

This beautiful April morning.

But I’ve decided to just lie

Here in this old hammock,

Rocking like a lazy


And wait for the day lilies

To open. The sun is barely

Over the trees, and already

The sprinklers are out,

Raining their immaculate

Bands of light over the lawns.

American Life in Poetry, made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine, runs the first Tuesday of the month. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright © 2013 by Robert Hedin from his most recent book of poems, Poems Prose Poems, Red Dragonfly Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Hedin and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.