Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Truck Driver's Aubade"



Listen: sunrise stirs bugs in dry grass.
The long whine of a steel guitar
curves into a wide blue highway.

This peace is easy to take, I'll tell you.
We kiss, kick off the covers
as if they were dead butterflies,
and grab each other, laughing.

The radio drops out its three-chord,
Two-minute-fifty songs,
most of them the same
except for the names, just like
the matchbooks in amber ashtrays
on the sticky counter-tops
on outdoor tables at truck-stops.

--Where I’ll rest elbows,
the thick roar of sixteen
tires still in my ears.

Darling, if I look at the ass of the waitress
while she's filling up my Thermos,
know it's only out of habit.

If my heart growls like a diesel for you
when dawn spills across the hood
of the Peterbilt, know I'm thinking of this morning

and of gearing down again on the grade
a full two miles from your place. This place. 


copyright Hans Ostrom 1983/2014
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