Montana

Established in 2005, Montana's state poet laureate position is currently held by Tami Haaland, who is the author of two books of poetry: When We Wake in the Night (WordTech Communications, 2012), a finalist for the May Swenson Award, and Breath in Every Room (Story Line Press, 2001), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Prize. She is a professor of English at Montana State University Billings.

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poems

poem
We were alone one night on a long
road in Montana. This was in winter, a big
night, far to the stars. We had hitched,
my wife and I, and left our ride at
a crossing to go on. Tired and cold—but
brave—we trudged along. This, we said,
was our life, watched over, allowed to go
where we wanted. We said we'd come
poem
And to think I had just paid a cousin twenty dollars to shovel the walk.
He and two of his buddies, still smelling of an all-nighter,
arrived at 7 am to begin their work.
When I left them a while later I noticed their ungloved hands
and winter made me feel selfish and unsure.
This ground seems unsure of itself
poem
The dirt road is frozen. I hear the geese first in my lungs.
	Faint hieroglyphic against the gray sky.

Then, the brutal intervention of sound.
	All that we experience is a message, he wrote.

I would like to know what it means
	if first one bird swims the channel

across the classic V, the line flutters, and