Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: James Welch 600

by lizard

My poetry library just passed 600 titles. The book that did it, James Welch’s Riding the Earthboy 40, is a book of poems I’m surprised took this long for me to find.

James Welch was born in Browning, Montana, and studied under Richard Hugo. It’s Montana literary lore. This week’s (somewhat tardy) poetry series comes from that collection. Enjoy!

*

THE DAY THE CHILDREN TOOK OVER

And though the sky was bright, snow fell down.
Children ran out. Mothers read letters
that said the world would end in fire.
Snow fell on driveways, on trestles and trees.
It fell on lovers locked together
in bedrooms and back seats of Buicks
out of sight in green wild fields.

And yes, it fell with a vengeance
on statesmen who predicted peace in our time.
Priests who left the pulpit for a fine new wife
walked about, pure and heavy beneath a wet sun.

All around town, children ran out,
rolled their snow, stuck buttons, carrots,
old hats and bits of coal on shapeless lumps
to create life, in their own image.

—James Welch


  1. Pete Talbot

    How appropriate on this snowy, fall day.

    I miss James Welch – he lived a few blocks away from me. He died at a young age, 62 or 63, of, I believe, lung cancer.

    • lizard19

      I really wish I could have met him.

  1. 1 Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Anticipating April | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] James Welch 600 […]

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