Daybreak on Rt. 2
On a long road at the end of night,
my car cradled by the rocks and turns
of a familiar highway,
a raspy voice over the speakers croons
lullabies of nighthawks and angels
which rub me just the right way.
I’ve driven this way before.
Sweet grains of chocolate crunch between my teeth
(an hereditary habit, chocolate)
though it’s the velvet promise of coffee
at journey’s end
that my dry gullet craves.
My baby’s skin in bed,
sixty-seven miles back,
so warm, so soft.
I drive toward prayer, the three steps forward
becoming leaps and bounds of faith.
Maybe when this road ends
I’ll be ready to bind my arm and head and hand
in cords of love, out of duty and out of need.
I drive toward an old woman
who will, I hope, be sleeping now,
breath easy and untroubled,
blessedly free of the gutturals which are
so virile in my serenader’s voice
and which wring her little body so hard.
I am ready
to keep driving all night.
But night is ending now,
“day” writ large in letters of fire
low across the sky,
and I’ve a date with the scribe.
My mother, who art in heaven,
Stretch that fingerpainting finger down.
Lay hands on your daughter’s spinning head,
pour new grief into the wineskins of old memory.
It is morning that breaks,
and I shall not.
– VB, November 16th, 2012