Taste the sun & empty bottles, the tiny wild jewels nestled
among old beer cans. Alongside, loud billboards
for boats & campers, the world of just out of reach.
Once, my body fell into soft sections, a bale of hay
loosened, ground deep & loamy, tightly curled alfalfa,
awaiting stalks of Timothy. Unending swales & ravines.
Now, these hard packed edges, narrow tarry lane. Flat road,
crowded & fast. Exhaust swirls, tail pipe halos, always shifting,
metallic & mercurial. Clouds heavy, giant fiberglass tunnels.
Parking lots of airplanes over this ridge readying for a turn around,
an escape. Next path toward somewhere. Launching. Airborne.
The road swallowed ahead. Swollen & bursting on the edges.
Off the highway from the airport, young summer reeds dip
tassled heads, impatient ponies tossing & rippling – begging
to be let out of the fence. Wild daisies spilling the roadside,
their sunny faces tousled. And, this coral frill, faint red sea
along the asphalt edge, constant waves of prairie grass ripening,
ripening into summer haze, my body still breaking open.
We saw the pink full moon rise
over the Laundromat, the muffler shop
and storage sheds on I 94.
It followed us all the way
to the edge of town, out where
the mallies and commuters call home.
Glowing salmon gold above the highway,
it took up all the sky. Hung there steady
like a fat dirigible, a gallant balloon
or the golden ring on an old carousel –
like you could grab it and get lucky
or punch it like those rubber balls
on elastic at a child’s birthday party.
“It looks artificial!” Mother crows,
but she is happy all of a sudden.
I wonder how the moon can do that.
You round a corner, on a drive home.
And, the pink full moon comes at you –
dip-swoop of bird flight, oak song
the way branches finger the sky –
handing you something for keeps.
~ ~ ~
Ellen Stone teaches at Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems have appeared recently in Passages North, The Collagist, The Citron Review ,and Fifth Wednesday. Ellen’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart prize and Best of the Net in 2016. Her poetry collection, The Solid Living World, won the 2013 Michigan Writers Cooperative Press chapbook contest.