from “Road Shoulders”

Cecily Nicholson

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power lines held by birds

of prey the hostile expanse above


ditches teeming floral invasive

wayside fleurs


late summer the shoulder sang


holds breeze by

the course of the drive


ravelling winds furl sparse treetops


semi-trailers startle traffic to attention

righted to the middle steady


a point of calm


a sense of pedal to headrest

never lost hope of going somewhere


a waiting trench the front across the dash

deep open road through the window


on the glass

bokeh crystals of settlement


streaming past mirror side appears larger


after all the lakes hold ashes and fur


long route tapers to a blue-strip august


the walk along here I was a daughter then

along a highway


on the route she shines on

leaning into the path as nettle heavy with rain

Cecily Nicholson, "from Road Shoulders" from Wayside Sang. Copyright © 2017 by Cecily Nicholson.

Source: Wayside Sang (Talonbooks, 2016)