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So Long

by James Galvin

I look down at my hand and there’s a wrinkling ocean in it.
A halcyon nest rocks on careless waves.
Small in the bottom of the nest, fledgling, my father curls.
He doesn’t look so good.
What I say, what he says, what does it matter?
I’ve got this ocean in my hand, and there’s no cure for that.


James Galvin’s most recent books are Resurrection Update: Collected Poems 1975–1997 (Copper Canyon, 1997), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Lenore Marshal Poetry Prize, and a novel, Fencing the Sky (Holt, 1999). His honors include a “Discovery”/The Nation award, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA. He lives in Laramie, Wyoming, where he has worked as a rancher part of the year all his life, and in Iowa City, where he is a member of the permanent faculty of the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. (2001)

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