Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHAT I'VE BELIEVED IN, by JAMES GALVIN

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WHAT I'VE BELIEVED IN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Propped on blocks, the front half of a packard car rides the hillside
Last Line: Waited years to be asked
Subject(s): Automobiles; Junk & Junkyards; Rust; Cars

Propped on blocks, the front half of a Packard car rides the hillside like a
chip of wood on the crest of a wave. It's part of the sawmill. That Packard
engine runs it, or did. The rest, the belt, the Belsaw carriage and blade,
stands aside in disrepair. Except for the pine seeds gophers have stashed in
the tailpipe, there's no sign of anything living. The gull-wing hood is rusted
cinnamon, latched over chrome priming cocks, one for each cylinder. Every board
in every building here was milled on power from that old car, out of timber cut
here too. Even shingles. It's been here since 1925, winters piling onto its
forehead like a mother's hands. It's weathered them like a son. Just because
it hasn't been run since 1956 is no reason to think it won't run now: waves
have traveled thousands of miles to give us small gifts; pine seeds have waited
years to be asked.

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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