24 April 2009

April 24 - Poem A Day Challenge - Travel

Today's prompt: "I want you to write a travel-related poem. It can be human travel, the migration of swallows, the trafficking of drugs, etc. Some sort of movement from point A to point B." Poetic Asides

Crossing Wyoming

It's as if someone took a map,
gave it a shake, and tugged
on all four corners, stretching
the given distance to absurd
proportions. The plan resembles
an anxious child's attempt
at destination origami.
The land is pre-charted.
No matter how you fold
it, the problem remains.
To go west you must first
go south. North is flat, except
where it rises at a perpendicular
angle even the tattered atlas.
can't hide. Towns no longer cozy
up to one another and blend
together as they do back East.
Instead they vanish altogether,
not to be seen again
for indeterminable miles.
The sporadic ranch house sits,
stands, or kneels on lonely hill,
under cottonwood trees,
or on the side of a distant dirt
road. Driving reveals more cows
than people, more sheep
than cows, more open ground
than possible to comprehend.
Eventually, the three dimensional
model outside the windshield
crinkles and for brief moments
resembles the creased diagram
on the front seat, the one
that was supposed to guide
ardent travelers to a place
marked Paradise.


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