Monday, March 19, 2018

Quarter-Life Poem: Traveling South

Traveling South


He liked to leave his life to chance
so, on a yellow dash in the middle
of a road, glistening with frost
he spun an empty bottle
letting it decide which direction
he would travel next.

After one crooked twirl
the bottle stopped
pointing exactly South.
The man sighed with relief.
He was tired of North, West and East
He was tired of looking out his window
and seeing nothing
except bare branches
long and black like scratch marks
against the blank gray sky.
He was tired of blankets and jackets
and stiff frozen muscles

He wanted to
wave goodbye to Winter
and follow the birds.

He had no one to say good bye to
so he said good bye to the day
watching the sun sink past the tips
of snow covered trees.
When the last bits of pink and orange
disperses into the dark
he got into the car
and drove South.

The beams of his headlights
swooped across the cracked highway.

Inside the warm and humming car
he played the music his parents use to listen to
the jingling breaths and raspy voice
filling the silence

But he could not stop thinking of birds,
of feathers and flight
and the strangeness of hollow bones.

As a child
he found the remains of a bird
all that was left were decaying feathers
and the most delicate little bones.

He thought about birds and bones
until just before dawn
when he saw an empty amusement park
on the side of the road.
A dark sign advertised fun
and pointed eagerly
toward the entrance.

All the rides were motionless
except for the Ferris wheel.
Hundreds of colorful lights
shone blazingly in the dark
while the Ferris wheel moved
through the crisp air
in lonely little circles. 

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