driving route eighty-eight

in the space between
working and not
i lose myself
essing and squiggling
day and late
on eighty-eight–

a kind of asphalt
umbilical cord,
connecting dawn and sunset—
wending way
again today
hauling my self-same freight
bobbing and bouncing
down eighty-eight:
always-adventuresome deer
nervously anticipating leaping flight
herding near the berm,
often—scavenger crows
picking splattered carcasses–

vistas appear—
erased and rephrased—
as sunlight fragment-dances
through trees not unleafed,
but not yet shade
as day breaks
and brakes dare—
another curvy-swerve
awakening nerve
from trance of sleepy routine
the esses and the cees
of reversing parentheses
spell out the guardrail’s
frowns and smiles
of huge metal teeth;

splintered sunshine slips
behind barbed-wire sanctuaries
where unconcerned cows
casually chew cud
and eye in stupid-stare
those who dare
traverse the asphalt-ribbon,
the bovines,
themselves unconcerned about
radioed words
regarding time and weather
and whether the jolting bump
into liquid-filled potholes
prompts the birth
of a new day—

or just the slower death
of my ever-balding radials!


8 Responses

  1. Pat Wood

    Remember every turn in that road as I drove daily to West Liberty extending my education as an RN to obtain my BSN. Beautiful, winding,hilly adventure. Thank you for the well written, descriptive and awesome insight through poetry.

  2. John Knight

    true DJT poetry, down to the curvature of the work’s body – quite befittingly exemplifies the crooked contours of 88 from gregsville to clinton to west liberty and back! eagerly anticipating your next book of verse!

  3. Thomas

    Came back 1972 from army almost, die no route 88. I wasn’t die in Vietnam war. Yes it was the first time in my life I could have been there and done it was the first time in my life I could have been a long day.

  4. Debby Koegler

    I love this! Thanks for turning Route 88 into poetry! This rings so true for those of us who have journeyed this meandering road…

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