Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, INDEPENDENCE DAY, 1956, A FAIRY TALE, by JAMES GALVIN



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INDEPENDENCE DAY, 1956, A FAIRY TALE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I think this house's mouth is full of dirt
Last Line: I know because someone, or his assistant, suffered here
Subject(s): Fourth Of July; Independence Day


I think this house's mouth is full of dirt.
Smoke is nothing up its sleeve.
I think it could explode.
Where I am, in the dirt under the floor, I hear them.
They don't know.
My mother leaves each room my father enters.
Now
she is cleaning things that are already clean.
My father is in the living room.
He's pouring.
Rum into a glass, gas into a lamp, kerosene into a can.
He pours capped fuses, matches, dynamite sticks into his pockets.
He pours
rounds into the .45 which he will point skyward and hold next to his ear as if
it were telling him things.
Where I am, the spider spins.
The broken
mouse drags a trap through lunar talc of dust.
Where the bitch whelps is
where I wriggle on my belly, cowardly, ashamed, to escape the Fourth of July.
I think the house is very ready.
It seems to hover like an "exploded view" in a
repair manual.
Parts suspended in disbelief.
Nails pulled back, aimed.
My father goes out.
My mother whimpers.
There'll be no supper.
She opens the firebox and stuffs it full of forks.


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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