Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CACHE LA POUDRE, by JAMES GALVIN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CACHE LA POUDRE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The whole world / (which you said I was
Subject(s): Colorado (state); Mountains; Snow; Hills; Downs (great Britain)

The whole world
(Which you said I was
To you)
Thought it might lie down a minute
To think about its rivers.
It puts the case to you,
Admitting nothing,
The way rapids speculate
On the topic of stones.

The farmers on the Poudre should have known
From snuff-tin rings worn into their pockets:
Matter is a river
That flows through objects;
The world is a current
For carrying death away.
Their wooden fenceposts rotted fast in the bog
So they quarried stone posts from nearby bluffs.
You can guess what they looked like;

The worst of it was
They meant it.
Rivers neither marry,
Nor are they given in marriage;
The body floats
Face down in the soul;
The world turns over.

Those gritstone fences sank out of sight
Like a snowshoe thrown in the river.
The whole world
(Of human probability)
Lay under that hawk we found,
Face down, wings spread,
Not so much
Flying into it,
As seizing its double in the snow.

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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