Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LEFT-HANDED POEM, by JAMES GALVIN

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LEFT-HANDED POEM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am the self of my former shadow
Subject(s): Forests; Mountains; Prairies; Rivers; Woods; Hills; Downs (great Britain); Plains

I am the self of my former shadow.
There's a forest lost in me.
When I walk there the wind scrapes overhead
Like a river I'm at the bottom of.

The opposite of a river,
This furry ridge nonetheless
Flows away and spills itself onto the prairie,
Or maybe it's a root the high peaks need
To fasten them down.

A hundred miles across the sea that went away,
Now windcarved sandstone and cow-specked pasture,
A single peak, triangular
Like a windmill sail,
Lifts itself into the air
And turns the wheel.

Hollow breath of the high couloirs
Turns the branches to water.
Still, but still loud down here among
So much knowing what to do.
I can take a hint.
I walk down onto the plain.
Like a small flame I
Steady myself.

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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