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Back roads


And lo the land is sweet and there is plenty of it

might have been a hymn I hummed as a child

though I was taught no hymns except the automobile,

the curated landscape of wheat and hay, green and gold’s alternate.


Hills raise hair on my arms under this dipping cursive two-lane,

where you sleep beside me. Thousands have I driven this lifetime,

drowsy children, drunk friends lulled at last uncomplaining,

and once my parents non-characteristically 


to silence. I looked in the rectangle and saw them

asleep, heads touching like parakeets.

It freaked me out. I watch ages pass in the cleft rock

see the shadows atop the great Wallowa’s meaning


there is something higher than mountains 

the goat-faced try to scale. Myself, always the chauffeur, heat stoker.

Awake behind what wheel is why I drive, overseer

of my passengers, alone, and the song my difference, my un-taken. 


I'm a writer from Oregon, author of INTERSTATE (dancing girl press) and IDIOM (Harbor Review). I won the 2021 Buellah Rose Poetry Contest from Smartish Pace which stunned me into temporary silence. I’ve since regained traction with poems in Posit, Plume, Women's Review of Books, Painted Bride Quarterly, etc. My third grade teacher once wrote as a demerit "She cares a little too much about visiting with her neighbor," Would that it were still a fact! May it once again be true.

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