Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday in CinCity

Phone Therapy


by Ellen Bass



I was relief, once, for a doctor on vacation

and got a call from a man on a window sill.

This was New York, a dozen stories up.

He was going to kill himself, he said.

I said everything I could think of.

And when nothing worked, when the guy

was still determined to slide out that window

and smash his delicate skull

on the indifferent sidewalk, "Do you think,"

I asked, "you could just postpone it

until Monday, when Dr. Lewis gets back?"



The cord that connected us—strung

under the dirty streets, the pizza parlors, taxis,

women in sneakers carrying their high heels,

drunks lying in piss—that thick coiled wire

waited for the waves of sound.



In the silence I could feel the air slip

in and out of his lungs and the moment

when the motion reversed, like a goldfish

making the turn at the glass end of its tank.

I matched my breath to his, slid

into the water and swam with him.

"Okay," he agreed.


please note: photo by Alejandro Cerutti

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July

by Louis Jenkins


Temperature in the upper seventies, a bit of a breeze. Great
cumulus clouds pass slowly through the summer sky like
parade floats. And the slender grasses gather round you,
pressing forward, with exaggerated deference, whispering,
eager to catch a glimpse. It's your party after all. And it couldn't
be more perfect. Yet there's a nagging thought: you don't really
deserve all this attention, and that come October, there will be
a price to pay.

please note: photo by me. Lake Erie sky in July

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In the Mountains on a Summer Day

by Li Po

translated by Arthur Waley



Gently I stir a white feather fan,

With open shirt sitting in a green wood.

I take off my cap and hang it on a jutting stone;

A wind from the pine-trees trickles on my bare head.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear Tiara

by Sean Thomas Dougherty





I dreamed I was a mannequin in the pawnshop window
of your conjectures.

I dreamed I was a chant in the mouth of a monk, saffron-robed
syllables in the religion of You.

I dreamed I was a lament to hear the deep sorrow places
of your lungs.

I dreamed I was your bad instincts.

I dreamed I was a hummingbird sipping from the tulip of your ear.

I dreamed I was your ex-boyfriend stored in the basement
with your old baggage.

I dreamed I was a jukebox where every song sang your name.

I dreamed I was in an elevator, rising in the air shaft
of your misgivings.

I dreamed I was a library fine, I've checked you out
too long so many times.

I dreamed you were a lake and I was a little fish leaping
through the thin reeds of your throaty humming.

I must've dreamed I was a nail, because I woke beside you still
hammered.

I dreamed I was a tooth to fill the absences of your old age.

I dreamed I was a Christmas cactus, blooming in the desert
of my stupidity.

I dreamed I was a saint's hair-shirt, sewn with the thread
of your saliva.

I dreamed I was an All Night Movie Theater, showing the
flickering black reel of my nights before I met you.

I must've dreamed I was gravity, I've fallen for you so damn hard.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday in CinCity

Tempest, Act V, Scene I [Where the bee sucks, there suck I]


by William Shakespeare



Ariel sings


Where the bee sucks, there suck I:

In a cowslip's bell I lie;

There I couch when owls do cry.

On the bat's back I do fly

After summer merrily.

Merrily, merrily shall I live now

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Friday, July 22, 2011

TGIF



Left Tuesday afternoon after a mandatory 2 hour staff meeting-on my day off-for a short visit to the lake. I would tell you the details of the meeting if it weren't Top Secret and I'd been paying a wee bit more attention, but alas, we'll all figure it out at the same time. A day late and dollar short perhaps.

It's as hot in northern Ohio as it is throughout the rest of the country. There is a big lake there to take your mind away from it, however. And a breeze. And we weren't at home with a list of chores staring balefully at us and wilting in the humid air.

Home now in my sinfully hot kitchen. Hubby's outside grilling up some eggplant and red pepper and boiling a pot of pasta while I chop the tomatoes, basil and garlic we bought at a farmstand on the way home.
Home Sweat Home.


Cherry Tomatoes


by Anne Higgins



Suddenly it is August again, so hot,

breathless heat.

I sit on the ground

in the garden of Carmel,

picking ripe cherry tomatoes

and eating them.

They are so ripe that the skin is split,

so warm and sweet

from the attentions of the sun,

the juice bursts in my mouth,

an ecstatic taste,

and I feel that I am in the mouth of summer,

sloshing in the saliva of August.

Hummingbirds halo me there,

in the great green silence,

and my own bursting heart

splits me with life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, CollegeGrrrrl

i carry your heart with me

by e.e. cummings




i carry your heart with me (i carry it in


my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you



here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart



i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our Year

by Charles Douthat






Still, there is hope this fading year

that next year will be our year



for a winter hike to the island quarry.

After the holidays, I'd propose.



In January, when dormant hardwoods

clatter in the wind and only a stray spruce



or cardinal lives for color. At such times

the quarry sleeps ice-locked



beneath sifting skins of snow. If it's safe

and thick enough, I'll take you out



across the ice to that spot

we swam those summers ago.



We'll walk again on water, solid now

beneath our feet. And I'll scrape clean



a snow-window for staring down

the frozen mirror of the deep.



Maybe only sealed off fissures.

Or rising bubbles captured in blue.



At least we'll see two bundled faces

looking back. And even so close to longest



night, surely some remnant sun will flash

above the trees and find us there—



parchment-lit, in the open—and stir us

in a winter way we've never known.



Then let the sun flash on across our quarry.

Love, let it glitter in the quarry stone.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday in CinCity

A Love Poem

by Garrison Keillor





A summer night, and you, and paradise,

So lovely and so full of grace,

Above your head, the universe has hung its lights,

And I reach out my hand to touch your face.



I believe in impulse, in all that is green,

Believe in the foolish vision that comes true,

Believe that all that is essential is unseen,

And for this lifetime I believe in you.



All of the lovers and the love they made:

Nothing that was between them was a mistake.

All that is done for love's sake,

Is not wasted and will never fade.



All who have loved will be forever young

and walk in grandeur on a summer night

along the avenue.

They live in every song that is sung

and every painting of pure light

and every Pas De Deux.



O love that shines from every star,

Love reflected in the silver moon;

It is not here, but it's not far.

Not yet, but it will be here soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday in CinCity. The CollegeGrrrl Guest Writer Edition.



Suspend reality and basic common sense as I invite you to Eastern StandardTime Hospital...

 


Many of you have shown interest in my job as a Mental Health Associate. This is probably due to the serious life-saving work that my fellow co-workers and I accomplish. Hey, coffee doesn't drink itself! However, many of you have only heard half of the story. The truth is, there is a very serious contest conducted every month at ESH. The winner of said contest gets their very own picture taken which is placed in the monthly newsletter along with their answers to 16 hard hitting questions.

I've never been let in on the secret details of how such employees are chosen. I have often questioned the validity of this award due to the fact that I have never been nominated. Ludicrous, I know. I imagine that there must be some sort of electoral college establishment involved in the selection process. This would explain how I could have possibly lost 47 months in a row. Like Al Gore, I'm winning the popular vote, but sadly, my brother is not the governor of Florida.



Thanks bro!


Like being President, winning Spotlight of the Month provides you with the unique opportunity to force your opinions and thoughts down other people's throats. However, the people that have been winning this prestigious honor have just ruined it, and here's how:

#1 How long at the hospital? Okay, this one is a give-me since they keep a file on you.

#2 Something people don't know about you? Here is where 100% of the people who answer this questionnaire begin to go wrong. Everyone picks some irrelevant fact about their life. If no one knows about it, it's probably because it makes you look a) boring or b) like a criminal. However there are options, people! For instance you could answer with the number of people you've slept with! This is completely relevant as everyone at that place under the age of 35 hooks up like we're on the cast of Grey's Anatomy.

#3 Where were you born? Kind of a boring question. Spruce it up by lying!



 IDK if you've heard of it...?



#4 Favorite restaurant? Oh you can afford to eat out at restaurants? How fabulous for you. 
#5 Favorite beverage? Unacceptable answers include but are not limited to: water, diet anything, soda, and tea. How about you love a good martini straight up on the rocks with a twist and through the garden. I have no idea what those words mean, but it sounds less bourgeois than water.


I love water too, in the form of ice.


#6 Favorite TV Show? People who answer: "I never watch TV" are lying snobs, and people who answer with a television station or multiple shows would fail at the game Simon Says. As a television connoisseur, I sympathize that this may be a tough call, but life is full of hard decisions. Start with the small stuff.

#7 Top 2 movies of all time? 90% of people say their favorite show is something garbage like Dancing With the Stars, yet want to state their favorite movie is a classic like Gone With the Wind. #1 I'm not buying it. #2 That movie is long and the ending sucked. Life is full of disappointments and failures, I don't need to watch a movie to make me feel melancholy. I want to laugh.. or see some people get murdered, ya know, whatever.


Also, my attention span is very challenged.


#8 All time favorite cartoon character - if I see Bugs Bunny one more time I'm going to start taking hostages.

#9 If you weren't doing this you would be? Quit telling us you would be a lawyer or an accountant. How about happy, richer, or a porn star? Something legit.

#10 What was on your grade school lunch box? Ugh, I'm so tired of people saying they didn't have a lunch box. What, did you walk to school barefoot uphill both ways in the snow for 12 miles, too?

#11 All time favorite athlete? The only wrong answer here is "I don't watch sports"... or perhaps "OJ Simpson".

#12 The theme song for your TV show would be? Again, a tough call. Right off the bat I can tell you anything in the genre of country music is going to be the wrong answer; and don't go with the obvious current Top 40 Hits. Think of the best song ever written.. and choose that.

#13 The world would be a better place if...Classic wrong turn here. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE says "If we all just hugged, held hands, and sang kumbaya". You disgust me.


This is how germs are spread.


#14 The last book I read was... Don't say you don't read. We don't care if you've been working on Crime and Punishment for 3 years.

#15 Four people in history you'd most like to have dinner with - this question inspired me to write this piece in the first place. I can't even count how many times I've seen four names out of this list: Jesus, MLK, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ghandi, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Jackie O, Bobby Kennedy, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, Oprah, FDR, and Ronald Reagan.

 I mean honestly people. First of all I want you to ask yourself how is that dinner going to go? What are you going to wear? What are you going to ask/say? What restaurant are you going to suggest to THE SON OF GOD? Hmm? No, seriously? Are we going to go to your favorite restaurant which is probably Bone Fish or Qdoba? Who is going to foot that bill? Will Jesus turn your water into wine to save money? If Marilyn, JFK, and Jackie all show up do you think that would be a little awkward? If Oprah Winfrey puts a new life under your seat are you going to jump and down and scream? No, you're going to sit there and text your friends "OMG this is so awkward! Like do I apologize to Jesus? Him and Mother Theresa seem to be good friends but Jackie just keeps givin Marilyn the stink eye, I'm scared. Reagan just showed up and he wasn't technically invited, do I ask the waitress for another chair? This table is so small? AH!!!" Yea, I'm calling a formal bullshit on all of you.


How's the family?


#16 The most influential person in your career has been? This is a trap. They said ONE person. Name someone outside of ESH and save yourself the headache of having to say "No, no! You've been super inspirational to me TOO!!!"


There it is folks. Now, I wrote this in honor of one special person today. Ally Tucker. It is her last day of work at Eastern StandardTime. We wish her good luck. In honor of her departure I've decided to pose to Ally a real Spotlight of the Month to answer on her phenomenal blog TuckersTales.net - check it out. If she chooses to tackle the 16 questions then you will have not one, but two fine reads ahead of you, as I am going to leave you with my own answers.

#1 How long at the hospital? 3.5 years

#2 Something people don't know about you? I'm in the witness protection program.

#3 Where were you born? On an airplane over the Atlantic.

#4 Favorite restaurant? Chez Starvation. They have a mean Ramen Noodle.

#5 Favorite beverage? Vodka and grapefruit. I know, I'm a health nut.

#6 Favorite TV show? Snapped. I like to learn while I watch television.

#7 Top two movies of all time? Silence of the Lambs and Super Troopers.

#8 All time favorite cartoon character? Natasha Fatale

#9 If you weren't doing this you would be... Drunk.

#10 What was on your grade school lunch box? Beauty and the Beast.

#11 Favorite athlete of all time? Kerri Strug. Epic.

#12 The theme song for your TV show would be... Take it Easy by The Eagles

#13 The world would be a better place if... Everyone carpooled - you have friends to complain about your job with on the way to work, and a DD on the way home from work. Oh, and you can save the environment!


Work hard. Play hard.

#14 The last book I read was... The Mysterious Island - just a hint, read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea first, no one told me that until the last 12 pages.

#15 Four people in history you'd most like to have dinner with...Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (to see if they would adopt me) & Chelsea Handler and her agent (to see if they would make me famous) So maybe they're not dead but they're making modern day history so suck it, it's my dinner party.

#16 The most influential person in my career has been: Nurse Jackie.


She's got the right idea.





.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Clean Practically Anything


by Jennifer O'Grady






Yes, housework can be a chore



A day, a day rinsed free of night



everyone enjoys a clean and orderly home



a table wiped clear of crumbs and spills



the best way to do the maximum amount


of work, without becoming overwhelmed



floor swept, dustpan emptied into plastic

bags which are placed inside sealed metal cans



is to perform it in a systematic fashion



dishwasher emptied, opaque and stainless



blot the stain, wipe away any residue



whites now sorted, his socks, his shirts

old egg-yolk yellow under the arms



try these to ensure results


reward your efforts:



his underwear, the boxers faded and frayed

repeating their pattern of angular hearts



be sure to remove any hooks or weights



their scattered and miniature x's and o's

openings measured for admission or exit



don't overload the machine, and remember



his colors tangling in a tossed-off pile

of mostly darks, mostly black and blues



fabric becomes much heavier when wet



while here and there a spring green

a tremulous yellow



protect from strong sunlight


and abrasive objects



a newborn pink, streak

of surprisingly deep red



warning: damages may not be covered



like fresh blood, a raw and unsutured cut



try a product that claims to hide


surface scratches



to be rinsed and wrung, dried and folded and piled

into the thing we call a long marriage



if the marks have darkened


use a sharp knife



these daily removals, these many attempts

to wipe clean the counter the table the slate



if the burn is deep use filler


smoothing it to match the surface



the windows now free of fingerprints and smears

as if there were no glass no barrier no space



work carefully to avoid


damaging the paint



in which to revisit your own faint reflection



this coating should last for years



please note: art by Jean-Edouard-Vuillard

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

She and My Granddad

by David Huddle



My grandfather—who died in 1970—

the year Sexual Politics was published—



called objects—screwdrivers, blow torches, trucks

—and sometimes even abstractions—winter,



pain, time—by the singular feminine

pronoun—she or her. For instance he would say,



I reckon she's coming up on quitting time,

or (of a favorite hammer), I guess






she ain't nowhere to be found. Kate Millett,

asked about the future of the woman's movement,



said, How in the hell do I know? I don't run it,

to which Granddad—at war with Gradmama all



my life but drawn to women, always polite—

would have said, Yes ma'am, can't nobody run her.


please note: photo by John Vachon and found in Farm Security Information, Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Library Of Congress

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, Monday

Hangover (Or Migraine)


By Billy Collins



If I were crowned emperor this morning,

every child who is playing Marco Polo

in the swimming pool of this motel,

shouting the name Marco Polo back and forth



Marco Polo Marco Polo



would be required to read a biography

of Marco Polo-a long one with fine print-

as well as a history of China and of Venice,

the birthplace of the venerated explorer



Marco Polo Marco Polo



after which each child would be quizzed

by me then executed by drowning

regardless how much they managed

to retain about the glorious life and times of



Marco Polo Marco Polo

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday in CinCity. The Keepin' It Real Edition.


                                           (click on photo to enlarge and read signage)


First off, thanks to all who sympathize and have offered their hard won wisdom. I appreciate it more than I can express and I'm taking notes, trust me.

I think the best I can strive for is to take it all as it comes--hopefully, with some grace and humor, and a recognition that some things just suck. If I have to leave school, it sucks, but also does having a stroke and losing half the functioning of your brain. And it sucks that my mother who has fought and refused to take or do anything that would be helpful in preventing a stroke now has devastating consequences that substantially impact our family. And by family, I really mean Hubby and me.

The truth is she could still have had a stroke and if it wasn't this it would most likely be something else. That's life. At least that's what they say.

The last shift I worked this past Friday evening involved admitting a 47 year old who had a seizure and fell, probably straight forward and down, breaking his neck at C1-C2. That's the one you'd hope for in a hanging back in the day when hangings were the punishment of choice. Quick and brain-dead. His 48th birthday would have been Saturday. Two kids...

I know that our plans for our days are not set in stone.

What I want is to make space in my life, as it presents itself right now, and to have flexibility and the ability to be fully involved in what's going on. School demands a lot of attention to be given to it and deadlines and arbitrary timelines in which real life demands become an annoyance. Couldn't this illness, Dr's appointment, newest complaint, this theater date, this trip to the lake just wait until the end of the quarter, till my paper's finished, till I take this exam? If we're picking up more here on the home front I don't want to be constantly frantic about time and writing papers in my head while I'm grocery shopping with my mother or walking the dog with one or the other of my grrrrlies and I don't want the lion's share of these changes to fall to my husband. It could be done. But, I don't believe the benefits outweigh the known downside. I don't want to be that frustrated, stress-sandwiched gal. I want to be Doris Day in Please Don't Eat the Daisies. Down to her up-do and flat shoes and pedal pushers.

In looking for a summer photo of CinCity I stumbled across this thread on a website, Skyscraper Forum and Aaron, AKA paradox21. If you like Cincy, or if you enjoy urban photojouralism, and you have a little time I would strongly encourage (in nursespeak that means, "Just go on and do it.") you to take a look.  There are shots like this





and this



        and more. They're larger and the details more striking on the original site. Quite an impressive eye.

And, because you can't allude to him and not show him , and you know this song is now rolling around inside your head, here's the man himself. May I present Mr. Frank Sinatra...





Now I'm off to do a little housework while everyone else is otherwise occupied.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday in CinCity



Above is the courtyard of BigFatUniversity Rehab Center where my mother is currently being housed after suffering a stroke. I'm off to visit this morning. The care has been good and now discussions and plans are underway for where to go next. She's had a right sided stroke and, while it generally saves the speech center, it takes out the portions of the brain involved with judgement, memory,



 problem solving, insight, etc...kind of a "six to one, half dozen the other" situation. As I'm sure you can imagine, safety becomes a big, big problem.

Ma would desperately like return to her home and that may or may not work. We'll have to see with a little further cognitive evaluation and another look/see from the psychologist. There's a thought that she might be "sundowning," and for those unfamiliar with that picturesque phrase, it's when an elderly person is perfectly normal and cooperative all day long goes bat-shit crazy around 4 or 5pm--when the sun goes down. However, some of this may be improved in her own surroundings and putting her own daily routine back into place.

We've been working around her apartment--locking the door to the basement so she can't get to those nausea-inducing steps, turning off the gas to her stove, putting grab bars up around the bathroom, getting a walker and canes, and today I'll go through and look for whatnots--lighters and matches mostly. And I'll do more wash since at the rehab center she tosses her clean clothes, still folded, into the laundry hamper. Six days worth of clothes in two days. Whatever.

 Finishing school is not really possible now. The only reason I was going to be able to go fulltime starting this fall was because of the NIOSH (National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health) monies to pay for my full tuition and a stipend that would allow me to go parttime at work. We could pull through that for a year as a family, but not with this. Those monies have been deleted from the Federal Budget as of Fall, 2012, so I can't imagine that being made available again. Although I've emailed, I haven't written the letters to my instructors and the fire study investigator. That's really the point of no return. I know it's selfish, but I just can't go there yet. 

In the background. I'll be looking at longterm care facilities for Plan B possibilities. I'll write about them. I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of funny incidents to write about. I'll keep a journal which will be picked up by a publisher and made into a film produced by and starring Sandra Bullock and you will all be at the premiere hobnobbing on the red carpet. This can work.




 

Friday, July 8, 2011

TGIF




Even the Smallest Paradise


by CJ Evans

The women in pencil

skirts spill from towers



and let down all

their disarming hair.



They hold caramel

glasses of whiskey



with sweet vermouth

as men with undone



cuffs speak something

secretive into the felt-



lined boxes of their

ears. The thunder



of planes is ignored,

and the four o'clock



flowers are fully

open. Their laughter



is a siren, echoing

among the buildings.



And they don't look

as the white parachutes



drift down to them

like dandelion seeds.












 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Have a ____ Day

by Lou Lipsitz



Have a nice day. Have a memorable day.

Have (however unlikely) a life-changing day.

Have a day of soaking rain and lightning.

Have a confused day thinking about fate.



Have a day of wholes.

Have a day of poorly marked,

unrecognizable wholes you


cannot fathom.

Have a ferocious day, a bleak

unbearable day. Have a

riotously unproductive day;

a grim jaw-clenched, Clint Eastwood vengeful

law enforcement day.

Have a day of raging, hair-yanking

jealousy and meanness. Have a day

of almost grasping

how whole you are; a finely tuned,

empty day.



Have a nice day of walking and circling;

a day of stalking and hunting,

of planting strange seeds and wandering in the woods.

Have a day of endearing nonsense,

of hopelessly combing your hair,

a day of yielding, of swallowing

hard, breathing more deeply,

a day of fondness for beetles

and macabre spectacles, or irreverence

about anything you want, of just

sitting and wondering.

Have a day of wondering if it's

going to help, or if it just doesn't matter;

a day of dark winds

and torrents flowing though the valley,

of diving into cool water

and gasping for breath,

a day of sudden hunger for communion.



Have a day where the crusts you each

were given are lost and you stumble

with your fellows

searching endlessly together.



please note: photo of Dogbane Beetle by magickcanoe.blogspot.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

Free to Be You and Me



This is what you shall do


by Walt Whitman



"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."

Photo from one of my most favorite states, Montana :>)
Off to the fabulous Northside Parade. Pictures hopefully soon to follow. Hear they're going to have a BedBug float. Happy and safe holiday to all.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Rest.


by Richard Jones



It's so late I could cut my lights

and drive the next fifty miles

of empty interstate

by starlight,

flying along in a dream,

countryside alive with shapes and shadows,

but exit ramps lined

with eighteen wheelers

and truckers sleeping in their cabs

make me consider pulling into a rest stop

and closing my eyes. I've done it before,

parking next to a family sleeping in a Chevy,

mom and dad up front, three kids in the back,

the windows slightly misted by the sleepers' breath.

But instead of resting, I'd smoke a cigarette,

play the radio low, and keep watch over

the wayfarers in the car next to me,

a strange paternal concern

and compassion for their well being

rising up inside me.

This was before

I had children of my own,

and had felt the sharp edge of love

and anxiety whenever I tiptoed

into darkened rooms of sleep

to study the small, peaceful faces

of my beloved darlings. Now,

the fatherly feelings are so strong

the snoring truckers are lucky

I'm not standing on the running board,

tapping on the window,

asking, Is everything okay?

But it is. Everything's fine.

The trucks are all together, sleeping

on the gravel shoulders of exit ramps,


and the crowded rest stop I'm driving by

is a perfect oasis in the moonlight.

The way I see it, I've got a second wind

and on the radio an all-night country station.

Nothing for me to do on this road

but drive and give thanks:

I'll be home by dawn.