Thursday, February 7, 2013

365 Poems: Companion Journey

Day 38 

Bald eagle courtesy  USFWS Headquarters via Creative Commons
Over a month into my New Year's resolution of 365 poems, I'm considering the potential stupidity of such an idea. Because when you commit to writing that many poems -- or almost, given my self-administered 'out' of depending on substitutes like my good friend Ray on bad days -- you're really writing just so many first drafts, which are rarely any good. So maybe next year's resolution is to throw out, edit, and revise all of this year's?

Anyway, thank God for poetry prompts. Wednesday's is from Writer's Digest's Robert Lee Brewer:
For this week’s prompt, write a poem somehow influenced by an animal. The animal could be the title of the poem, the subject of the poem, a bit part in the poem. Dive into what it means to be animal or non-animal. Have fun. 
In this case, the subject is a poem in motion.

 Companion Journey

Just a nondescript car
flying down a generic highway;
he’s driving and messing
with the Garmin, and I’m reading
and looking out the window
at a steely January day
and the snowy till plain
of northern Ohio.

 Lake Erie lies north, so close
-- though we can’t see it --
that if we stopped the car
we could walk to the shore;
cross over the six lanes of traffic,
the grassy medium,
the metal fences used to keep
cars in and wildlife out,
step down calm country roads,

cut across fields, maybe
pause in some little town.
Keep going north to
the place where
the next stop is Canada,
and the water stretches
green-grey and turbulent
as far as we can see --

Erie might as well
be the ocean, for us and
for the seagulls who gather
then explode, dive and wheel,
then climb, and maybe we could
fly with them, take off from the
beach and just head back over
the fields and the backroads

the farm houses and villages,
back to our car where he’s driving
too fast again and I’m looking
out the window daydreaming and
we’re just one more car in a
long train of too many fast cars,
when something catches my eye
and when I realize what it is --

Everything stops. 

Just off the turnpike
on a pile of construction dirt
I sprain my neck to see it land:
fanned white tail, smooth chalky head,
large dark body and
long straight wings contracting --
Then damn it! We’re past --
but I know we flew with you, eagle.

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