Poetry: Kay Ryan, 'Hailstorm'

originally published December 2003

Audio: Hear Kay Ryan read this poem. (1:23)

Also by Kay Ryan:
Among English Verbs (1998)
This Life (1993)
Emptiness (1993)

Like a storm
of hornets, the
little white planets
layer and relayer
as they whip around
in their high orbits,
getting more and
more dense before
they crash against
our crust. A maelstrom
of ferocious little
fists and punches,
so hard to believe
once it's past.

Kay Ryan is the current U.S. Poet Laureate. Her latest collection, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, has just been published. She lives in Marin County, California.