You hear that heroic big land music?
Land a one could call one.
He starred, had lives, looks down:
windmill still now they buy only
snow cows. Part of a dream, she
had a long waist he once but yet
never encircled, and now I'm
in charge of this, this donkey with
a charmed voice. Elly, I'm
being sad thinking of Daddy.
He marshaled his private lady,
did she wear a hat or the
other side? get off my own land? We
were all born on it to die on
with no writin' on it. But who are
you to look back, well he's
humming "From this valley," who's gone.
Support and preserve me, father. Oh
Daddy, who can stand it?
This poem was written in 1979. From Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005 (Wesleyan University Press, 2008). Copyright © 2008 by Alice Notley and reprinted with permission of Wesleyan University press.