Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PORTRAIT OF MY ROOF, by JAMES GALVIN



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A PORTRAIT OF MY ROOF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My steel roof mirrors clouds
Last Line: Unlike anything one finds in reflection
Subject(s): Animals; Clouds; Grass; Snakes; Steel; Serpents; Vipers


My steel roof mirrors clouds
Like a book the sky left off reading.

The story of clouds passing keeps passing,
As stories will, even with the book turned over,

Even closed, shelved, forgotten;
Inside I leave off working

And turn my notebook spine up to wonder
What kind of story is boring the sky.

I don't have to go far for the answer.
I don't have to go anywhere.

Shall I take up serpents for interest?
I have taken up serpents.

Shall I refuse happiness?
For interest?

No, I shall claim the obvious,
That hearts are no exclusive province.

I shall go outside and lie down in the grass.
I shall read the passing clouds,

Chaotic, senseless, wise,
Unlike anything one finds in reflection.


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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