Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A poem

Dug this out of the archives a while ago. I've been too busy/too tired/too writer's-blocked/busy-reading-instead to blog much lately. So here's this.


I drove fourteen miles today
through the same potato fields
I passed the summer I drove Jordan Tait’s
red Honda CT 110,
skipping grammar class
to wear my father’s old leather jacket
and go joy-riding.
That same year, between sessions of April’s
general conference,
we rode his motorcycle—a real one—out to
Barney Dairy Road
stopped and wandered through the same graveyard
that Jacob Chapman and I would eat cereal in
years later.
Just talking.

I’m surprised the car has made it this far today.
Riding out here between sessions
of April’s general conference.
This car is rusting away at the edges
and like so many things, it seems about to die.
Every day I think “This week, this month, this year,
it’s going to die.”
And every week, every month, every year,
it rustily carries on.
You press the gas pedal and the damned thing
just keeps going forward.

There was an afternoon in these fields
when Shaun Scrivner and I drove and drove and drove
I remember some old potato bunker
roof gone
that we climbed around in.
I sometimes wonder if I dreamt it
Lately, most memories seem like that.
Too surreal to have actually happened.
You get out of the habit of making things extraordinary.
You get too old to unthinkingly say yes.

We go through days when we are
as ships in the night and when I drive,
I imagine—I keep picturing—
that I’ll see Jacob, meet him in a field somewhere
between the cemetery and that roofless potato bunker
and he’ll play the guitar
and I’ll keep saying yes
and we’ll pull everyone out of the cave behind us.
So many things keep going.
Ted, the car, marriages.
And every few years, I sit in the driver’s seat of a car
and write a poem that feels important.

1 comment:

Imogen Frowfrow said...

I love your poems. And especially the part in this one about the rusty car that keeps going while you wait for it to die. I know that place you painted here, it calms me down to know you know it too.