Looking for a Rest Area by Steven Dunn

I've been driving for hours,

it seems like all my life.

The wheel has become familiar,

I turn it

every so often to avoid the end

of my life, but I'm never sure

it doesn't turn me

by its roundness, as women have

by the space inside them.

What I'm looking for

is a rest area, some place where

the old valentine inside my shirt

can stop contriving romances,

where I can climb out of the thing

that has taken me this far

and stretch myself.

It is dusk, Nebraska,

the only bright lights in this entire state

put their fists in my eyes

as they pass me.

Oh, how easily I can be dazzled—

where is the sign

that will free me, if only for moments,

I keep asking.


  1. I love this, especially the line about the only bright lights putting fists in his eyes, how easily he is dazzled.

    reminds me of a poem i wrote called "hooked" which is on my site.

  2. This poem first found me when I was driving home one night, exhausted and lovesick. It was on NPR, read by Garrison Keillor. Now I'm grateful to be in love with all of Stephen Dunn's work.


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