Choices

By Tess Gallagher b. 1943 Tess Gallagher
I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don’t cut that one.
I don’t cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,   
an unseen nest
where a mountain   
would be.
                        


                              for Drago Štambuk

Tess Gallagher, "Choices" from Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2011 by Tess Gallagher.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press.

Source: Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2011)

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Poet Tess Gallagher b. 1943

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

 Tess  Gallagher

Biography

Poet, essayist, and short story writer Tess Gallagher was born in 1943 in Port Angeles, Washington, to a logging family. Her early years were marked by the rhythms of seasonal work, as well as the landscape of both the Northwest and the Ozarks, where her grandparents lived. “I don’t know how many children really get to explore vast amounts of territory like that,” she has said in interviews. “It builds something in you.” . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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