Friday, February 10, 2017

Appointments in the Flatlands

In the '56 Chevrolet sedan, steel and wheels,
we barreled down and up and down three
canyons' worth of Sierra peaks. A mother,
an aunt, 2-3 kids, no seat belts, logging trucks
and steep killer drops to make it interesting.

Eight pistons pushed us through the forest.
Ma and Aunt sang folk songs in two-part
harmony, Clementine drowning and Tom
Dooley killing. I was the youngest in the car
and brooded on ghastly lyrics instead of

lightening up with the lilt. And I couldn't
sing worth a shit. If you looked close
out the window, you saw smears and blurs,
if far, you saw the forest staying still.
Breton would have envied the provincial

surrealism.  Berryman, D.D.S., soon
loomed, mustachioed. His tooth drill
was slow and sullen.  What did I know,
what did we know? Only that life
unfolds and boulders are everywhere.

hans ostrom 2017
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