Surprised by Poetry

I was flipping through a J.Crew catalog this weekend and was startled to find this:

You Are Here sweatshirt

It may be hard to see in this photo, but the model’s sweatshirt says, “YOU ARE HERE.” This phrase immediately made me think of the opening poem in Dear Wandering Wildebeest, a poetry collection by Irene Latham coming in September.

Here’s the full poem. At the end, I’ve included an image of the poem in the book so that you can admire Anna Wadham’s wonderful illusration for it as well.

To All the Beasts Who Enter Here
Abandon now the crusted path
that resembles a human palm:
Welcome wildebeest
and beetle,
oxpecker and lion.
This water hole is yours.
It offers you oasis
beside its shrinking shores.
Drink, parched beasts.
Refresh and clean.
Discover this vital place
where earth and sky convene.


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