Poet, teacher, and thoroughgoing realist about the world of modern poetry, April Ossmann has the gift of sight. She points out what we might have missed, and, even in her most personal work, invites us to see the universal themes that surround us in objects and emotions. She has generously given us a gift of four of her poems, which we look forward to sharing on Poetry Sundays. Fittingly, the first is called “One.” It is particularly appropriate as we enter the season of acquisition.


By April Ossmann

I wanted the avocados—
I didn’t want the avocados.
I wanted something
that cost too much, that
felt too smooth
on my tongue,
that would torment me
with its absence as it would
with its presence.
I never passed them
with indifference. Imagine—
all those weeks
I wanted avocados
and told no one! 
I wanted anything
I couldn’t have
or perhaps to become one
with the culture
of wanting,
in a world of want.
One united body
of cells fused
with desire, the moving
target perhaps of another’s
desire—the potential
right arm of the right man.
Wanted and wanting,
united, I steered my cart
down the market’s
gleaming avenues, one
with this nation of desire,
with the luxury, to want.
“One,” from Anxious Music, by April Ossmann © 2007.  Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books.  All Rights reserved.

April Ossmann is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books) and has published her poetry widely in journals, including Colorado Review and Harvard Review, and in anthologies. Her poetry awards include a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant and a Prairie Schooner Readers’ Choice Award. Former executive director of Alice James Books, she owns a poetry consulting business (www.aprilossmann.com), offering manuscript editing, publishing advice, tutorials, and poetry workshops. She is among the inaugural faculty members for the new, low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe. She lives in Post Mills, Vermont. 

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