Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MEASURE OF THE YEAR, by JAMES GALVIN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE MEASURE OF THE YEAR, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: A canoe made of horse ribs tipped over in the pasture
Last Line: I thought Id seen that happen
Subject(s): Canoes & Canoeing

A canoe made of horse ribs tipped over in the pasture.
Prairie flowers took it for a meetinghouse.
They grow there with a vengeance.

Buck posts float across the flooded swamp
Where my father rode in and under.
Different horse.

He held her head up out of the mud
And said how he was sorry
Till they came to pull him out.

We found the white filly
On the only hard ground by the south gate.
He said she'd been a ghost from the start and he was right.

We covered her with branches.
There were things he had the wrong names for
Like rose crystals. Though

They were about what you'd think from a name like that.
He told us somewhere on Sand Creek Pass
Was a crystal that spelled our own initials

And we should try to find it.
We walked through sagebrush and sand currents, looking.
He said pasqueflowers and paintbrush

Wait till Easter to grow,
Then they come up even with snow still on the ground.
I thought I'd seen that happen.

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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