Poetry - Issue 18 | June 2013

Dead Reckoning

by M. R.


Dead Reckoning

It is my unsaid job as the oldest to keep my father awake,
so I ask as he drives if he must move the wheel
to change lanes, or does he just think about it,
-I believe such is his power.

He laughs and takes his hands from the wheel, denying
all responsibility, and slowly we change lanes.
Everyone else is asleep, flung across the car
in minor comfort of seats or the floor.

I blink rapidly and fight off the sandman, who catches
up at highway speed. Deep in the night we cross
the Snake River at Homedale, high bridge steel making
fierce shadows even at the expense of light.

He slows, it is the first turn on the right from the bridge,
I smell mown hay through the windows. From here
he drives by feel, by some power I aim to gain in adulthood,
no lights, no map, a navigation by dead reckoning.

 


About the author

Mark’s work is published in Camas, Cascadia Review, Red River Review, and elsewhere. He travels extensively in the Pacific Northwest and leaves soon for a multi-week wander through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. He never manages to catch any fish but would release them if he did.

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