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Tuesday, April 07, 2009


by Martin Galvin

Were we to tell him that the world is whole,
that places where he would have lived have sounds
that are not screams, have softened voices made
for songs and choral laughter, he would not
quite believe, not having learned (nor ever now,
being twelve and done with school) how to read
the signs nor how to sign himself except
in pictures that he used to draw in sand.

Were we to tell him that the keening blade
he pulls out of his side is something blessed,
a thing that he has stopped in time to free
the rest of us, he would not understand.
And we would be dismayed that he could
not quite get how full his life has been.

In the last ten years, Martin Galvin has published over 170 more poems in a wide variety of journals and magazines, including Poetry, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, Commonweal, Midwest Quarterly, Alimentum, OntheBus, Image, Poetry East, and New Issues and in a number of anthologies including Best American Poetry 1997 and Poets Against The War edited by Sam Hamill. In 2007, he was awarded a month-long residency at Yaddo.