Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MAN'S VOCATION IS NOBODY'S BUSINESS, by JAMES GALVIN



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A MAN'S VOCATION IS NOBODY'S BUSINESS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Overcome with humility in the american west
Last Line: Bound for the edge of the world
Subject(s): History; Past; West (u.s.); Youth; Historians; Southwest; Pacific States


Overcome with humility in the American West,
Boys grew up incorruptible in old photographs.
In shirts without collars,
They stand next to the year's prize hog,
Thinking into the wind.

Taller than fathers or brothers,
The edges of kitchen doors
In sod houses
Recorded the ambitions of boys to grow

Tall enough to see more
Of the landscape as it took
Its turns for the worse.

From the top of a silo you could see
How the land had a hard time
Just holding up its fences,
Holding out for water, just holding
Back the sage and larkspur.

In eastern Colorado, old men and boys
Rode the fences together.
Once a year, in late summer,

They lifted the fence wires to the tops of cedar posts
For the tumbleweeds to blow under.

This is no secret.
The tumbleweed is a bristling genius
Bound for the edge of the world.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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