Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THEY HAVEN'T HEARD THE WEST IS OVER, by JAMES GALVIN



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THEY HAVEN'T HEARD THE WEST IS OVER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: So that no one should forget, and no one be forgotten -- isn't that
Last Line: Arms to the north, and the road from here keeps going, as if it were going somewhere
Subject(s): Country Life; Death; Disappeared Persons; Funerals; Mountains; Trees; Wyoming; Dead, The; Missing Persons; Burials; Hills; Downs (Great Britain)


So that no one should forget, and no one be forgotten -- isn't that what graves
are for? The road from Tie Siding labors up the ridge like an old man in deep
snow, leading the ditch like a mule, like always, making the woods by dark. The
timber goes from green to blue on its way to the bone-white Divide.

Off the road there, in the lee of the rise (so that no one should forget), in a
mixed patch of evergreen and aspen (so that no one be forgotten), you can barely
see the rail fence, a brief enclosure, through the living trees.

Rough stones pried from the ground nearby, these markers bear no names. But I
know who is buried here, and who repairs the rails. These folk were pioneers,
and are, apart from other people: Ap Worster and his wife so frail he could
place his hands wholly around her waist.

She wasn't strong enough to live so far away. Ap climbed a haystack when she
died. He lay on his back and cried three days. That was 1910. Someone's girl
died in winter, before she had a name. They kept her till the ground thawed.
Death had done its work by then, and more.

There are others here that I could name and tell about, but the differences
between them now are slight: a balsam tree is growing out of someone, someone
is covered by an aspen bough, newly fallen.

Besides, these are not like graves in town that no one should forget. These were
meant to be forgotten. Some people never stop wanting to disappear into the
mountains. Right now the whole of Wyoming opens its rusty arms to the north,
and the road from here keeps going, as if it were going somewhere.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net