Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A POEM FROM THE EDGE OF AMERICA, by JAMES GALVIN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A POEM FROM THE EDGE OF AMERICA, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: There are ways of finding things, like stumbling on them
Last Line: Although it might by why
Subject(s): Nature; Wyoming

There are ways of finding things, like stumbling on them.
Or knowing what you're looking for.
A miss is as good as a mile.
There are ways to put the mind at ease, like dying,
But first you have to find a place to lie down.

Once, in another life, I was a boy in Wyoming.
I called freedom home.
I had walked a long time into a high valley.
A river cut through it. It was late,
And I was looking for a place to lie down,

Which didn't keep me from stumbling
On something, believe me, I never wanted to find.
It was only the skeleton of someone's horse,
Saddled and bridled and tied to a tree.
When I woke in the morning it was next to me.

The rider must have wandered off, got turned around
And lost. It must have been winter.
The horse starved by the tree.
When we say, what a shame, whose shame do we mean?
In earnest of stability water often rages,

But rivers find their banks again, in earnest of the sea.
This ocean I live on can't hold still.
I want to go home to Wyoming and lie down
Like that river I remember with a valley to flow in,
The ocean half a continent away.

The horse I spoke of isn't a reason,
Although it might be why.

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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