Kay Ryan's poem, "This Life" first appeared in The Atlantic in April, 1993:

It's a pickle, this life.
Even shut down to a trickle
it carries every kind of particle
that causes strife on a grander scale:
to be miniature is to be swallowed
by a miniature whale. Zeno knew
the law that we know: no matter
how carefully diminished, a race
can only be half finished with success;
then comes the endless halving of the rest --
the ribbon's stalled approach, the helpless
red-faced urgings of the coach.

Nige fawns over Ryan, as her poems "say what they have to say, do what they have to do, with such economy of means and simplicity of expression that there is little, if anything, to explain."

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