Poets

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Joseph Millar

Joseph Millar is the author of four books of poetry, including Overtime (Eastern Washington University Press, 2001), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and teaches in the MFA programs at North Carolina State and Pacific University.

By This Poet

1

One Day

Everything shimmers
with the sound of the train
rattling over the bridge
especially the ears and nostrils and teeth
of the horse riding out
to the pasture of death
where the long train runs
on diesel fuel
that used to run on coal.
I keep listening
for the crickets and birds
and my words fall down below.

I mistook the train for a thunder storm,
I mistook the willow tree
for a home, it's nothing to brag about
when you think of it
spending this time all alone.
I wandered into the hay field
and two ticks jumped in my hair
they dug in my scalp
and drank up my blood
like the sweet wine of Virginia,
then left me under the Druid moon
down here on earth in the kingdom.