Marching

By Jim Harrison b. 1937 Jim Harrison
At dawn I heard among bird calls
the billions of marching feet in the churn
and squeak of gravel, even tiny feet
still wet from the mother's amniotic fluid,
and very old halting feet, the feet
of the very light and very heavy, all marching
but not together, criss-crossing at every angle
with sincere attempts not to touch, not to bump
into each other, walking in the doors of houses
and out the back door forty years later, finally
knowing that time collapses on a single
plateau where they were all their lives,
knowing that time stops when the heart stops
as they walk off the earth into the night air.

“Marching,” from Jim Harrison’s Saving Daylight (2006) is reprinted by permission of Copper Cayon Press

Source: Saving Daylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)

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Poet Jim Harrison b. 1937

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Nature, Living, Death, The Body, Animals

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse

 Jim  Harrison

Biography

Jim Harrison has spent much of his life in Michigan on a farm near where he was born. His connection to rural landscapes is evident in his free-verse, imagistic poetry, which often explores human and animal drives set against an unforgiving natural world. Noting the poetry’s relation to Hemingway’s prose style in a review of Harrison’s Selected & New Poems 1961–1981, poet and critic Richard Tillinghast declared in the New York . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Living, Death, The Body, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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