After a few days off, another new poem: On this afternoon’s ride I decide to turn off on a dirt road that looks inviting, seeking the deep shade of tall trees arcing over the road and the peace of nature. But some roads . . .
Some roads go nowhere—or seem to go on forever
their brown dirt and gravel spinning up under my
wheels, green-head flies battering my windows, .
Some roads seem to go nowhere. Be here now
swampy tangles remind me. Look at the wild black
berries not yet ripe, vines entwining dense shrubs.
I have chanced on this road today, seeking escape
from the nowhere I’ve been in, from tangled days
that never seem to ripen.
Be here now, though the light is waning and
the road I have taken stretches out ahead of me,
perspective narrowing to a distant dark point.
This is the road I’m on now—my random impulse
luring me deeper into the illusion of no escape—into
this fairytale woods that would swallow me whole.
Every so often another dirt road intersects, beckoning
me to turn off and try it, hoping it might lead me out,
not strand me among the pinewoods ghosts.
At last I see a highway ahead, a paved promise of
release after all—yet coupled with my relief, I feel
a strange reluctance letting go of being lost.
© 2020 Penny Harter