I’ve driven hours now,
down roads wending
through wood and field.
All slows to childhood:
endless red clay, the kudzu’s
slow creep, the pitch of pine
seeps past rolled-down windows.
Past the derelict Exxon, the sno-cone
shack, the trout pond muddied
from goose leavings and algae bloom,
the Baptist church where voices
lift the clouds on Sundays.
The car shudders into the four-way.
Here, the usual kid bicker lessens
from the backseat, you stop
twirling the lonesome dial looking
for stations beaming songs of loss.
Here the ancient oak throws
its heft across the road, shadow-
softened mistle-toed limbs akimbo.
Here, we would kiss, the long trip
Home but two corners
and over-the-train tracks away.
But tonight the moon pounds
the pavement full and unabated and I
turn to your seat, wishing for my kiss.
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