Sunday, April 5, 2015

She's A Place


My Sister

My sister is a place where

Sorrel horses walk single file through tall

Lodgepole stands,

Where sunlight severs down and dulls and shatters

Before it hits the ground,

Where the grass is tall saw grass, wavy

Like the grass in the Sargasso Sea,

Where eels spawn and the new eels

Migrate to the continents of their parents'

Origin, inexplicably...

We don't know how they do that.

Life is nothing if not obvious.

My sister is a place where

I left the gas cap on top of the '82 Land Cruiser.

It's got to be around here somewhere,

But I can't find it,

And if it's around here

It's walled by snowy mountains where

The wildflowers (lupines, columbines, penstemon)

Bloom a month later than here,

And are smaller,

And all around are aspen trees turning yellow

As their yellow leaves turn in the wind,

Where things that fall and roll away

Cannot be found under the fragrant sage,

And as I look around, I'm thinking

Of the time I chained and churned and shoveled

That rig through five miles of thigh-deep snow,

Occasionally jacking it up in back

And tipping it off forward to keep going

Just to get to a phone to call a girl,

And the time I drove with my daughter

Across Nebraska and Iowa in 105 degrees,

Blocks of ice to cool us pooling on the floor.

My sister is a place where

Rivers swell in spring and falter in the fall.

My sister is a place

Where no time passes.

We cannot live there.

-James Galvin




  1. beautifully written, but i feel sad at the ending.

    1. Oh, I know Niken. I'm sorry you feel sad!
      When I read it for the first time, I cried.

  2. Love the painting and the poem...I agree with Niken, the ending makes me sad. xo

    1. That James Galvin really got to us all, didn't he!
      So nice that you are here, Mona.

  3. Your print is perfect for this James Galvin poem. Is that you with the blonde braids? :) Surely you've read Galvin's "The Meadow" of my most favorite books. I've got a book of his poems somewhere, too. Maybe I need to break them out again, because he sure can write. Lots of snow lovely spring snow here in NW MT!

    1. Diana, twelve years ago I painted this picture with pastels. My hair was too short to wear braids back then! So, nope that's not me. Haha.
      The Meadow is also one of my very favorite books, I enjoyed it very much. It's one of those stories that stays with you forever.
      We've finally got spring and your tulips are covered in snow. ;)

  4. that's so beautiful.
    i love the painting and the feeling it brings to my heart.


  5. That warms my heart very much, Marie-Bernard-Coyote girl.
    Hope the spring and the sling are both treating you right. ;)

  6. Very introspective, very much how I'm feeling these days. Is it the same for you?
    And yes, I've driven across Iowa in 105 degree weather.

    1. I wasn't aware that Iowa got so hot! That's like Phoenix hot! :(
      This poem makes me think and think. I must have read it twenty times.
      It reminds me of Red Feather and the Silver Moonbeam... She's always so snowed in, I can never find the door.

  7. This is a poem that takes you right out of your head and drops you directly into your heart. Transporting. Thanks for posting this. :)

    1. Exactly! I go back to this poem whenever I want to 'be there' again. When I first read it, I was like, ohhhh maaan....chills!
      Clare, have you read THE MEADOW?? :)