Maggie Anderson was born on September 23, 1948, in New York to parents who were both teachers. She is the author of four books of poems, most recently Windfall: New and Selected Poems published in 2000. Her other books include Cold Comfort (1986) and A Space Filled with Moving (1992).
Anderson is also the editor of the new and selected poems of Louise McNeill and co-editor of Learning by Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School and A Gathering of Poets, an anthology of poems read to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the shootings of students in an anti-war protest at Kent State University in 1970.
This is going to cost you.
If you really want to hear a
country fiddle, you have to listen
hard, high up in its twang and needle.
You can't be running off like this,
all knotted up with yearning,
following some train whistle,
can't hang onto anything that way.
When you're looking for what's lost,
everything's a sign,
but you have to stay right up next to
the drawl and pull of the thing
you thought you wanted, had to
have it, could not live without it.
Honey, you will lose your beauty
and your handsome sweetie, this whine,
this agitation, the one you sent for
with your leather boots and your guitar.
The lonesome snag of barbed wire you have
wrapped around your heart is cash money,
honey, you will have to pay.