Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MISERICORD, by JAMES GALVIN

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MISERICORD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Out at the end of a high promontory
Subject(s): Girls; Mountains; Pain; Silk; Hills; Downs (great Britain); Suffering; Misery

Out at the end of a high promontory
above the dim, oceanic prairie,
we built a little fire for warmth.

Who ever doubted that the earth fell from the sky?
As though it had traveled a great distance to reach us

and still could not reach us,

though we held our hands out to it,
some vague intention, some apprehension
occurred between us.

That night we slept in the snow
by a half-frozen lake.
I could smell the woodsmoke in your hair.

We heard the earth cloud over, clear again,
the low voltage of granite and ice,
and everlastingness

let fall the moment
like a girl slipping out of her silk chemise.

But forget all that.
I wanted to tell you, the girl,
that when I woke in the morning

small frogs were singing from the lake as if
we had become transparent in our sleep.

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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