Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, JOSIE MORRIS, by KAREN SWENSON



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JOSIE MORRIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Beyond the petroglyph, / a child's greasy handprint on rock
Last Line: In the sun.
Subject(s): Graves; Imagination; Women; Tombs; Tombstones; Fancy


Beyond the petroglyph,
a child's greasy handprint on the rock,
the wind scuffs up red dust
along the road that bucks
and sidewinds
the hogback's barren ridges.
It dead-ends at boarded windows,
secret as blind men's glasses,
the sign nailed to the porch.

JOSIE MORRIS
1874-1964
ALONE SHE TILLED
THE ORCHARDS AND THE MEADOWS.

Walking her property,
I make her up -
a small, rawhide woman,
hair a frowsy halo,
eyes large, fishnetted in lines
that tauten at her temples.

Alone,
land and weather were her lovers,
no more temperamental
than other women's men.
She disciplined their children,
raised orchards and meadows
tame,
managed the estate
her lovers lent her
and brought her harvest in
as they were ripening her
to nourish finally
her fruits gone wild and bitter
in the sun.





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