Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PALOUSE, by KAREN SWENSON



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PALOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Chaff hovers like pollen
Last Line: Spattered with stars.
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


Chaff hovers like pollen
over a combine.
Land rolls ripe with wheat
and fallow plows dark ribbons
into the hills. Female, fecund,
they belly and hollow
under sky clabbered by cloud.

Before wheat,
bunchgrass,
camas pooled the prairie blue
and horses ran speckled rumps
into the cool gulch's cleavage.
Still, bluffed against the sun
you see a swaybacked souvenir
kept for a child's Sunday ride.

Driving home from a milltown's roundup
through these barrows of hills
the rodeo announcer echoes,
"This cowboy learned to rope
at a California school."

The night is a mare's rump
spattered with stars.





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