winter driving

Posted on January 21, 2014 in Poetry

we’re no good at
just a little bit of snow
we do massive windrows
piled five feet high
on the side of the road
monuments to slow frigid wet dirty hell
this far north of the Parallel
it sticks in our hair and our clothes
blows into our mouths and up our nose
and all we feel is
naked trees
darkness that never leaves
soggy kleenex shoved up our sleeves
and a crust of runny slush made lethal
by the freeze

cutting white lines
into every heavy storm
nose to tail on the freeway
east at 8, west at 4
nerves frayed
digging out
of a blizzard
for eight straight days
scraping a shroud of ice away
to see things clearly
in the name of moving forward
inch by maddened inch
through lonely hours
stuck between bumpers
with iPods for lovers
and cigarettes for comfort
and assholes in the rearview mirror

glued to 10 and 2
and what do we do
when we start to slide
hang on for dear life
as the crash flashes
before our eyes
pump the brakes and pray
we don’t flip the rail
to the underpass below
or fall all the way down the hole
until the skid slows
and we get a grip
another one of those
close calls
tighten the claws
set as ever
to defy the laws of physics
get past the worst of it
in one piece