In her first full-length collection of poetry, Barbara Smith offers richly imagined stories of pioneer women of the West, of her own family’s multi-generational history in Montana and Wyoming, and of the community of Rock Springs, Wyoming that for over four decades she has called home.
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“When the pine trees were planted
and the shelter belt was a row of waist-high saplings,
Pa brought the rock into the yard.
He set it upright in the front corner.
Here goes the road, he said, there, the yard.
Between the lilacs and the olives
it stood tall, proclaiming: Here, land, here we are
planted like the saplings. We do not move.
Here, wind, blow, here we are, we do not bend.
Between the farmyard and the house,
dividing the worlds, it stood.”
Excerpt from “The Rock.”