101. Driving West

This isn’t a poem about the blue clouds

like out of focus angels

that we saw just south of Lawrence,

nor about the way we came up

over the rise east of Manhattan

and found the Flint Hills spread before us—

nor the sunset that carried every bit

of grain and speck of dust

into a silver-edged symphony

of gold and neon, and it’s not

the way the dying sun

lit the southwest face

of the grain elevator somewhere past Hays,

exalting it above its workaday self—

not the way the colors feel, the lace border

of black bare branches

backlit by a stripe

of orange sherbet sky,

the lake of blue clouds

like the blue shadows

caught in the drifts of snow

swelling across the prairie.

Instead, this poem is

you and me and Frank and Georgia,

crammed into a

too-small car with too much stuff

arguing the politics of the Civil War

and—politely, mind you—taking turns

to sit in the less crowded front seat,

where we can move our feet

without being snarled in blankets

and book bags and the laptop’s wires,

driving toward invisible mountains.

— Olive Sullivan



One thought on “101. Driving West

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s