Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A poem

"Keys" by Nancy Henry

When things got hard
I used to drive and keep on driving—
once to North Carolina
once to Arizona—
I'm through with all that now, I hope.
The last time was years ago.

But oh, how I would drive
and keep on driving!
The universe around me
all well in my control;
anything I wanted on the radio,
the air blasting hot or cold;
sobbing as loudly as I cared to sob,
screaming as loudly as I needed to scream.
I would live on apples and black coffee,
shower at truck stops,
sleep curled up
in the cozy back seat I loved.

The last time, I left at 3 a.m.
By New York state,
I stopped screaming;
by Tulsa
I stopped sobbing;
by the time I pulled into Flagstaff
I was thinking
about the Canyon,
I was so empty.
Thinking about the canyon
I was.

I sat on the rim at dawn,
let all the colors fill me.
It was cold. I saw my breath
like steam from a soup pot.
I saw small fossils in the gravel.
I saw how much world there was

how much darkness
could be swept out
by the sun.


Diane said...

wonderful! "thinking about the canyon I was..."

pj said...

I love this poem. I drive when I'm miserable, too. Then I fret about the environmental damage I'm causing. But I like to talk out loud to myself when I'm working out a problem, and alone in the car is the best way to do that.

I generally don't cross state lines, though. I guess I'm not that miserable. ;)

Eileen said...

I'd love to drive across state lines when i'm feeling nutso, but I'm afraid I'd never get back.