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American Life in Poetry

Much of the poetry that has endured the longest is about the relentless movement of time, and in ways all art is about just that. Here’s a landscape in which time is at work, by Geraldine Connolly, who lives in Montana.

Flathead Lake, October

The eagle floats and glides,

circling the burnished aspen,

then takes the high pines

with a flash of underwing.

As surely as the eagle sails

toward the bay’s open curve,

as surely as he swoops and seizes

the struggling fish, pulling

it from an osprey’s beak;

so too, autumn descends,

to steal the glistening

summer from our open hands.

Poem copyright 2007 by Geraldine Connolly, from her most recent book of poems, “Hand of the Wind,” Iris Press, 2009. Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.