Saturday, October 3, 2009

Reflections on Driving East: A Farewell to the Pacific Northwest of Oregon (Draft #3)

The Pacific Northwest falls away behind me.
A haze of dust masks distance
mountains turn to shadow in my driver side mirror.
Every twist or curve of the road
bares the fruit of glimpses,
my past glides slides to my left
slides to my right:
Three Sisters all too soon fade from view
but remain white-capped cindered cones
splashed across my memory.

Quiet desert basins barbed wire-fenced in,
roads wind betwixt
scrub speckled hilltops and buttes as far as the eye can see.
And even in this high scrub-land out of way place,
runs blistered and cracked two lanes of blacktop.

The need for repair evident in
the presence of work crews and work trucks.
I smell tar and crushed stone
as it mixes with the fumes of air I breathe.
And I wonder as I drive
fast as thunder shoved coast to coast
across a storm stricken sky
piercing this mighty body in two.

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