American Life in Poetry: Column 751


During the fourteen years we've published this column we've shown you many fine short poems, and the newspapers that print our weekly selections like it that we don't take up too much of their "news hole." I thought this week it might be good to show you a haiku, which as you know is a Japanese form that tries to capture life in a spark-like flash. This one is by Lori Becherer of Millstadt, Illinois, and I found it in a 2017 issue of Modern Haiku. There's a great deal of life, and of life's end, in these eight words.

no more dandruff

no more dandruff
on his blue suit
open casket

We do not accept unsolicited submissions. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2017 by Lori Becherer, "no more dandruff," from Modern Haiku, (Summer, 2017). Poem reprinted by permission of Lori Becherer and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2019 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.