When former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser's mother was dying, he wanted to show her how much he had loved the life they had shared.
So he did what a poet does. He wrote, from his Nebraska perch, about a life growing up in Iowa — the fields, people, family, pinocle games.
It's an evocation, and a kind of love letter to the center of the country and his family's place in it. He's encouraging us all to write our own American family histories.
**NOTE: This show was first broadcast Sept. 17, 2009.
This program aired on November 25, 2010.