Sunday, April 3, 2011

Driving Montana, Alone

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am going to post poems throughout the month...poems that I have found and love, poems that speak to me, and that I hope will speak to you.

I've been trying to think about how to describe or characterize the poems I like. I am not sure I can be specific. I tend to prefer more modern poetry.  I tend to prefer poems on subjects that I can relate to. I like poems that talk about love and relationships, death and loss, moments of discovery about one's self or situation, and travel and nature. Poems that really speak to my life experience on the Byway. Really I can only say I just know it when I read it. It either immediately draws me in or not. What kind of poetry do you like? Do you have a favorite poem you would like to share? Please do!

I like this poem that I am posting here (courtesy of the Writers Almanac) because I can picture myself in this situation. Traveling alone on the Scenic Byway and missing my love, feeling sad because he is not there to witness and share the beauty that I am seeing. Because he gets me and I get him and we share in the beauty of the Byway...

Driving Montana, Alone

I smile at the stack of Bob Dylan CDs
you are not holding in the passenger seat.
Storm clouds have gathered. My "Wow" rises
over the harmonica for your benefit,
but you cannot see that one sunlit peak

in the midst of threatening sky. The road turns
wet at the "Welcome to Anaconda" sign,
and I pat my raincoat, loosely folded
where your lap should be. "Anaconda was almost
the state capital," I say, but that's all I know,

and you don't ask for more. You wouldn't mind
my singing and swerving onto the shoulder
for more snapshots over the car door.
And it's only when I get just south of Philipsburg
that your not being here feels like absence.

I want you to see these dark rotting barns,
roadkill of Highway One. It seems only you
could know why my eyes fill the road
with tears again when a flock of swallows
swoops through an open barn door
and rushes out the gaping roof.
"Driving Montana, Alone" by Katie Phillips, from Driving Montana, Alone. © Slapering Hol Press. Reprinted with permission.

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