Roadside Ditch Natura Morta

By James Galvin b. 1951 James Galvin
No one can draw fast enough
To capture the cut
Iris before its form falls
From its former self.
But when we passed a patch
In the ditch,
She told me to stop and she stepped
Down, opening her clasp
Knife. She spared one iris
With an impressionistic
Cocoon on its stem
And cut the flower beside it.
Once home
She rendered in a careful hurry.
She drew into the night as the iris died.
I woke grafted to her
In a vague, translucent hammock of dread.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2013
 James  Galvin


James Galvin is the author of several collections of poetry, including Resurrection Update: Collected Poems, 1975–1997 and X (2003); a novel, Fencing the Sky (1999); and The Meadow (1992), a prose meditation on the landscape of the Wyoming-Colorado border and the people who live there.

Galvin’s work is infused with the genuine realities of the western landscape, while at the same time not shirking difficult questions of faith, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Love, Realistic & Complicated, Relationships, Men & Women, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.