Friday, April 5, 2013

Looking Back, Moving Forward


Difficult to contact people

Now that she had moved away.

She had no phone numbers.

Everyone she knew had moved from student slum to

Student slum;

Only fragments of remembered conversation to

Go by.

She had to make contact.

She had things to say to people,

Belongings to be gathered.

And she hadn’t moved so far away.

It was two hours by car.

It was five hours,

Maybe more,

Of hitching and walking down those empty back roads.

Got a ride with a musician;

Going up for an afternoon gig.

That seemed like enough time to

Find her friends,

Pick up a few things,

Maybe have a beer.

But, when she got there,

She felt a flash of heat and adrenalin.

She started to rush about.



Five o’clock;

Flushed, drunk and adamant;

She’d not leave. Not yet.

She’d go the following morning. Maybe then.

The musician friend packed up his car and left.

Tension threaded a sticky swirling coil

Through her body.

She should have gone, taken that ride.

She should have left as planned.

She searched out another beer, another party,

Then slept a drunken sleep,

Exhausted by the frenzied dancing, her

Longing not to leave these young, indolent bodies,

This heat and drunkenness,

This music, this happening.

She burnt to gray the cold, real fact of her




Light slammed into her eyes.

The air outside the blankets was cold.

She closed the door behind her, but it swung


The day was clear and empty.

She stuck out her thumb,

Resigned to independence; walked

With long, sure strides between the

Passing of cars.

Quiet streets,

Slow going under a mid-morning hangover;

She was hard-pressed to feel anything

Positive about the journeying.

She stood for a long time on the

Highway’s shoulder on the

Edge of a highway town.

Reflecting on the distance,

She was afraid now of that two-hour drive.

She knew the road, but still couldn’t make it.

Not easily.

Rather blinded by vain longings and sudden tears.

Maybe it was better just to stay away.

And then she remembered other times

When she’d had to move, to

Leave things behind,

Remembered how the focus shifted;

Looking back,

Moving forward.

She remembered how she’d had to

Stay away.




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