Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SMALL COUNTRIES, by JAMES GALVIN



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SMALL COUNTRIES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In defense of whatever happens next, the navy of flat-bottomed
Last Line: Dark rush across the prairie towards him and over him
Subject(s): Country Life


In defense of whatever happens next, the navy of flat-bottomed popcorn clouds
steams over like they are floating down a river we're under. To the west, red
cliffs, more pasture, the blue Medicine Bow with stretchmarked snowfields,
quartzite faces like sunny bone. I'm worried about Lyle getting back from town
with his oxygen, but then I see him through binoculars turn the Studebaker,
antlike, off the county road and up the four-mile grade, so small down there
that I want to imagine his hands on the wheel, still strong, his creased blue
jeans and high-top shoes I know he wears to town. He turns off the road on a
small
knoll about halfway up and stops the truck, facing the mountains. He
still looks small against so much space, but I can see his left arm and shoulder
and the brim of his hat lowered as he lights a smoke and looks off toward the
mountains, and small countries of light and dark rush across the prairie towards
him and over him.


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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